810.154/879b

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Guatemala ( O’Donoghue )

No. 272

Sir: In the Department’s instruction of October 17, 1934,2 you were directed to ascertain and report “whether the Government of Guatemala accepts the route through that country laid down in the reconnaissance survey” for the Inter-American Highway which had been determined by the engineers of the Bureau of Public Roads of this Government. With the Minister’s reply No. 396 dated October 25, 1934,3 he enclosed a copy and a translation of a note addressed to him on October 24 by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, which stated that

“The Government of Guatemala is ready to cooperate, within its capacity, in the construction of the above-mentioned highway in the section pertaining to Guatemala; and I have today addressed the appropriate authorities requesting them to indicate whether they accept the route contained in the reconnaissance survey report which Your Excellency was so kind as to send me on June 12 of this year. In due course I shall be pleased to inform Your Excellency of the reply of those authorities.”

In his despatch No. 401 of October 30, 1934, the Minister reported a conversation between himself and the Minister of Foreign Affairs in which Mr. Hanna said the Foreign Minister had “stated that he had asked the Minister of Agriculture for his recommendation with regard to the route, although he did not anticipate any desire on the part of the Government of Guatemala to make more than minor changes.”

Numerous subsequent despatches from your Legation have indicated that the Government of Guatemala has taken steps “to cooperate, within its capacity,”; but so far as can be found in the Department’s files no definite statement has been forwarded by your Legation that the Government of Guatemala accepts the reconnaissance survey [Page 152] route for the Inter-American Highway through that country. The Department would like to have a definite statement by the Government of Guatemala that the reconnaissance survey route has been accepted by that Government. If the “minor changes” referred to in the statement quoted above from your despatch No. 401 should not yet have been definitely made so that the entire route can be accepted, it would be helpful to the Department if the Government of Guatemala would state that it accepts the route laid down in the reconnaissance survey report excepting between the two points on the reconnaissance survey which mark the termini of the portion of that route which the Government of Guatemala desires to have changed. It is understood that engineers of the Bureau of Public Roads have been engaged in an alternative survey of a minor portion of the reconnaissance survey route through Guatemala. When their labors shall have been completed, if indeed they have not already finished, an additional statement by the appropriate authorities of the Government of Guatemala would be appreciated indicating that the changed portion of the reconnaissance survey route has also been accepted.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Sumner Welles
  1. See instruction No. 174, October 17, 1934, to the Minister in Panamá, ibid., 1934, vol. iv, p. 476.
  2. Not printed; see despatch No. 401, October 30, 1934, from the Minister in Guatemala, ibid., p. 481.