816.01/380: Telegram

The Chargé in Guatemala (Lawton) to the Acting Secretary of State

3. Telegram from Minister at Managua January 17, 10 p.m.17 I inquired of Foreign Office this morning as to whether President Ubico objected to first part of Sacasa plan, namely, that immediately prior to recognition the three Presidents should announce their agreement on continued validity of Treaty as between themselves and on [Page 238] calling a conference of the five countries. I pointed out that, although I had as yet received no instructions as to how the Department would view recognition if this first step were omitted, the Department had expressed its sympathy with the plan as originally proposed by President Sacasa and not with recognition alone. Acting Minister frankly admitted his Government was none too enthusiastic about the proposal but said President Ubico had agreed to recognition because he did not desire to stand out alone against the other Central American States and the United States. Once recognition was agreed upon Ubico had little interest in the other features of plan although he is willing to participate in Central American conference. He feels the spirit and principle of treaty are necessarily lost by recognition and that it is useless to try to justify it by an explanation beforehand. Although agreeing the treaty remains in force between Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras, since none of them have denounced it, he feels it is useless to pretend that recognition of Martínez is not a violation of its terms. Finally, although willing enough to participate in a conference, it is evident that Guatemalan Government would not take a new or modified treaty very seriously. Notwithstanding these views Acting Foreign Minister promised to point out to the President the fact that a preliminary announcement in the sense indicated above was an essential feature of the Sacasa plan and to see if he would approve it. Decision on this point may not be reached until late this evening or tomorrow.

Repeated to Managua.

  1. See penultimate paragraph of telegram No. 15, supra.