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

My Dear Mr. Minister: I have read with interest your despatch no. 966 of August 12, 1939, in which you report a conversation with the Chief of Protocol of the Guatemalan Foreign Office with regard to the intention of President Ubico of enlisting the support of the other American republics in the controversy with Great Britain over the territory of Belize.

I believe that it would be highly regrettable for the contemplated action to be taken at this time, as the intervention of other American republics in the controversy might make it difficult for this Government to continue to take active interest in the conclusion of an amicable settlement of the dispute. Furthermore, such intervention might be considered by the British Government as constituting grounds for declining to resume negotiations.

I do not wish to suggest that you should make any representations to the Guatemalan Government with regard to this question, but it occurs to me that if the Chief of Protocol or other officials of the Guatemalan Government should again refer to the reported plan of President Ubico, you could be guided in your conversation by the foregoing observations.

With my very kind personal regards, I am

Sincerely yours,

Sumner Welles