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

No. 52

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the Department’s airmail instruction No. 9 of January 4, 1934 (received January 15th subsequent to the receipt of the confirmation copy by regular pouch) regarding the possible opening of conversations between the United States and Guatemala with a view to concluding a commercial treaty. I took up the question of the possibility of opening such conversations with the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, who stated that he would be glad to go into the matter further upon the receipt of a memorandum listing the concessions which would probably be requested by the United States side by side with those which might be offered to Guatemala. He added that in his opinion President Ubico would be interested in the possibility of a commercial treaty, but that he preferred not to take the matter up with the President until he could present him a memorandum along the lines indicated. I conveyed to him the Department’s suggestions as to the basis on which the conversations could proceed; and he indicated his interest in the concessions which might be proposed by the United States for Guatemalan products. He mentioned particularly his Government’s interest in possible better treatment on sugar; but I explained that the United States Government was not at this time in a position to indicate whether any provision could be made as to that product. In any case, the Minister preferred not to express any definite opinion [Page 282] as to the specific suggestions, since he is anxious first to know what concessions would be requested by the United States.

I assured Licenciado Saenz de Tejada that I would communicate at once with the Department, and that I hoped in a short time to be able to provide him with a statement such as he desired.

Respectfully yours,

Edward P. Lawton