810.154/532: Telegram

The Minister in Guatemala (Hanna) to the Secretary of State

30. My 25, March 13, 11 a.m., and 28, March 16, 11 a.m. In my conversations with the delegates I am concurring with the view which has been expressed that the present Conference furnishes an opportunity for the Central American Governments to demonstrate their interest in the inter-American highway by taking some positive action calculated to expedite its construction through Central America. I have added that my Government continues in its desire to be of assistance and have given as my opinion that the extent and character of such further assistance it might find possible to extend would depend Very largely upon the interest displayed by the Central American Governments themselves.

I hope that the initiative in obtaining the further assistance of the United States may thus come from the Central American Governments since for us to express a willingness to furnish material assistance in advance of any such initiative might lead to misinterpretation and mistrust of our motives and might actually prejudice the chances of completing the highway through Central America.

I hope I may be instructed to inform the delegates at an appropriate time before the Conference closes of the character of the assistance [Page 469] the United States is prepared to extend to the Central American countries, but for the reasons given herein I deem it desirable that until some positive action favoring the construction of the highway is taken by the Conference I should limit my observations to those outlined in the first paragraph above.

Repeated to Central American missions by air mail.