The Minister in Guatemala (Des Portes) to the Secretary of State

No. 966

Sir: I have the honor to report a very interesting conversation which took place here in the Legation a few days ago with Don Delfino Sanchez Latour, Chief of Protocol…

Mr. Sanchez Latour informed me that President Ubico asked him to let me know that he was becoming very much fed-up over the inaction and delay in the negotiations with the British Government regarding the “Belize dispute”. Mr. Sanchez Latour further informed me that the President had decided to wait one month longer, and that if the negotiations were still at a standstill, he, President Ubico, would then send a note to every American Republic, asking for their cooperation in the settlement of this dispute. He further informed me that after sending this note to the different American Republics and, if he failed to get action or cooperation from them, that he, the President, expected to withdraw any further cooperation of the Guatemalan Government in the other Conferences of American Republics. Mr. Sanchez Latour then went on to say that Guatemala had withdrawn from the League of Nations for this same reason, that is, that the President had seen no good that the small nations of the world were receiving from the League, and that when Guatemala withdrew from the League of Nations quite a few other nations did likewise, and that he believed if Guatemala withdrew its cooperation from the Conferences being held by the American Republics, that there would be other nations which would do the same.

I told Mr. Sanchez Latour that I was very sorry that the President felt this way.

Following this, Mr. J. P. Armstrong, President of the International Railways of Central America, a British subject, and a very close friend [Page 180] of President Ubico, came to call on me day before yesterday, and in the conversation he informed me that President Ubico had sent Mr. Sanchez Latour out to his home a few days ago, and Mr. Sanchez Latour had told him practically word for word the same story the President sent me. It occurs to me that this may only be a threat that President Ubico is making to try and force our Government to aid him in forcing the British Government into action, but still he may carry out his threat, and it could probably have some very serious consequences.

Respectfully yours,

Fay Allen Des Portes