714.44A15/73: Telegram

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

37. Your despatch no. 994 of September 13 and telegram no. 39, September 21, 4 p.m.25

Please inform the appropriate officials of the Guatemalan Government that the British Embassy in Washington has communicated to the Department in an aide-mémoire dated September 2126 what is apparently the substance of a recent British note on the subject of the dispute over the boundary of Belize. The aide-mémoire indicates that the British Government proposes “as soon as the war situation permits, to reopen negotiations with the Guatemalan Government on the basis of new proposals which were in fact actually forming the subject of careful consideration when hostilities broke out”.

It would seem appropriate for you to state to the Acting Foreign Minister that in view of the intention of the British Government to reopen negotiations, the matter would seem to be progressing favorably so that its consideration by the 21 American countries at Panama would seem premature. You may state that this Government is informing its delegate at the Panama meeting of the memorandum dated September 12, 1939, presented by the Guatemalan Government and is [Page 187] confident that he will give sympathetic attention to any views which Dr. Salazar may care to express.

For your confidential information, the Department approves the efforts which you have made to discourage the Guatemalan Government from bringing the subject of this dispute into the Panama meeting, and hopes that on account of the British note the Guatemalan Government will not press the question at Panama.

The foregoing has been repeated to Mr. Welles.27

  1. Latter not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Sumner Welles, then at Panama, as delegate of the United States of America to the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the American Republics for Consultation under the Inter-American agreements of Buenos Aires and lama, held at Panama, September 23–October 3, 1939; see pp. 15 ff.