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

No. 165

Sir: Copies of your despatch No. 471 dated December 20, 1934, and of its enclosures, were on January 23, 1935, forwarded to the Secretary of Agriculture for the information of the Chief of the Bureau of Public Roads.

Attention was called to your statement that you had not yet received from the Guatemalan Government any indication “concerning the extent to which it is able to cooperate financially in carrying out its part of a satisfactory arrangement to utilize the material and machinery which we might donate for this purpose” from the fund of one million dollars appropriated by the Congress of the United States to enable this Government to cooperate with the other interested governments in construction work on the Inter-American Highway. Attention was also invited to your expression of opinion that your efforts to obtain some concrete statement would be facilitated if, in the light of the information contained in the report enclosed with your despatch, you “could be advised of the definite plans and desires of the Bureau of Public Roads for beginning construction work” in that country.

Advice was requested regarding the response which should be made to the suggestions contained in your despatch.

There is enclosed for your information a copy of a reply dated February 27, 1935,16 which has just been received from the Secretary of Agriculture. You will note that while this letter does not indicate the definite plans and desires of the Bureau of Public Roads with [Page 247] reference to the contemplated construction work in Guatemala, it does state that the plan which that Government appears to have for work on the section indicated of the highway in Guatemala “is in harmony with what is considered here feasible and practicable” and “it is hoped general policies can be established within the reasonably near future that will permit the undertaking of cooperative projects with the Guatemalan Government”. You will note the intimation that assurance might be given to the Guatemalan Government that “definite proposals will be forthcoming in the near future”. You will also observe the statement that after the reopening of the Panama office, which it is planned will occur soon, it will be possible to take up through the personnel of that office the formulation of definite projects for cooperating in the contemplated construction work on the highway.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Sumner Welles
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