816.01/354: Telegram

The Minister in Nicaragua ( Lane ) to the Acting Secretary of State

4. I took up with President Sacasa today the subject contained in the Department’s telegram 2, January 9, 2 p.m., and emphasized the desirability of the action being initiated by him. He said that the proposal had his enthusiastic approval and that he would immediately consult a few close advisers to make certain that there would be no [Page 223] legal objections and then inform me as to the specific steps he would propose to take. His present intention would be, he said, to send personal representatives, one to Tegucigalpa and the other to Guatemala, to obtain the reaction of the respective Presidents and if favorable then to make public a telegram to those Presidents setting forth the proposal. He stated that he is certain that the President of Guatemala will agree and is fairly confident that President of Honduras will concur.

He made, however, the following suggestions:

That following phrase be amended “but not in force with respect to the relations of those states with Costa Rica and El Salvador” as he appears to feel that the specific reference to Costa Rica and El Salvador might cause unnecessary irritation and thus serve to hinder successful culmination of plan. He likewise suggested that something to the following effect be added “they propose the calling at some early date of another Conference of the Central American States to consider a revision of the General Treaty of Peace and Amity and such action relating to the other treaties signed in 1923 as might appear appropriate, as well as such other matters as might seem of common advantage”.
That he be authorized to have his representatives orally inform the Presidents of Guatemala and Honduras that his proposal has been discussed with me and that I have given him to understand that it meets with the Department’s approval and that our Government will, acting independently, recognize the present Government of El Salvador immediately following or simultaneously with the recognition by Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala. He states, I think with reason, that Honduras and Guatemala will immediately wish to know our attitude and that much time will be gained by his being able to give that assurance at the start. Because of discussion which has already begun in the press of possible recognition of El Salvador by the three Governments concerned and by the United States, he stated he considers the element of time to be essential; otherwise the negotiations may be seriously jeopardized by editorial comment. I concur. The press of today contains despatches from Panama indicating possibility of Conference of Central American countries there. As Panama is in public mind generally identified with United States influence, I think that perhaps an unfavorable impression would be created were conference to be held there. I respectfully suggest Mexico City would be an admirable meeting place. Such a choice would serve to disarm the suspicions which have existed there regarding our aims in Central America and might tend to bring about closer cooperation with Mexico on matters affecting this continent.

I should be grateful to have at the earliest possible moment an expression of the Department’s views of the President’s suggestions (1) and (2). The President assured me that he appreciates the confidential nature of this matter.