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

No. 381

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my despatch No. 332 of September 5, 1934, with regard to the proposed commercial agreement between the United States and Guatemala and to report that when I called on the Minister for Foreign Affairs this morning he again brought up the matter of contraband shipments of chicle from Guatemala [Page 290] with relation to contraband shipments of alcohol from Puerto Barrios. I thereupon communicated to the Minister the essence of the Department’s instruction No. 90 of October 2, 1934, which was in reply to the despatch under reference.

In subsequent discussion the Minister inquired if it might not be practicable to include in the prospective trade agreement an obligation on the part of Guatemala to prevent contraband shipments of alcohol and liquor from Guatemalan ports in return for an obligation on the part of our Government to prevent the entry into the United States of contraband shipments of chicle. He added in this connection that much chicle originating in Guatemala is now being shipped to the United States through Belize. I inquired of him how the American authorities would be able to determine whether the chicle reaching the United States was of contraband origin and he replied that the object he had in view might be attained if the United States should require all shipments of chicle from Belize to be accompanied by documents showing that the chicle originated in British Honduras.

The Minister stated that he would like me to present the foregoing idea for consideration in Washington.

Respectfully yours,

Matthew E. Hanna