814.24/106

The Chargé in Guatemala (Cabot) to the Secretary of State
No. 1628

Sir: With reference to the Department’s telegram No. 103 of December 6, 9 p.m., I have the honor to report that Colonels O’Leary and Montesinos arrived in Guatemala City on the afternoon of December 12 and left on the morning of December 19.

Inasmuch as these officers had received no specific instructions regarding their mission, I gave them the pertinent correspondence in the Legation to read immediately upon their arrival, and discussed the general situation briefly with them. On December 13, I took them to call on the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister of War, and the Chief of the General Staff. The latter informed them that he was not as yet ready to talk to them and made an appointment, first for the 16th, later postponed to the 17th. I was, however, able to arrange to have Lt. Col. Glass come in from some picayune maneuvers which he was supervising to confer with them, and they also talked with Captain June.

The two Colonels did not avail themselves of any further offers of assistance and I was therefore disturbed when, on the afternoon of December 18, I had another conference with them and found that they still did not exactly understand what the purpose of their mission was, and appeared to have done little of value in fulfilling it. I arranged for them to have another conference that evening with Lieutenant [Page 122]Colonel Glass, but I fear that their recommendations will be based on a rather sketchy survey.

In view of this fact I have felt it advisable to obtain recommendations from Lt. Col. Glass and Captain June, who are familiar with this problem, and have been able to study it over a period of some months. I hope that the Department will not consider me presumptuous in having done this and in submitting herewith their written recommendations67 in this connection. The Department will note that these officers’ recommendations are generally similar. Both officers appear to believe that rather a large military mission is necessary. In this connection I feel that I should point out that the Guatemalan Government will probably not be willing to go to any considerable expense in connection with a military mission, particularly if its inflated request for arms is answered by sending such driblets as the two officers in question have—very wisely—proposed. I believe therefore that whereas such a large mission would presumably be desirable from the military standpoint, it might be wise to propose a smaller one, even if it is possible for the United States to furnish the recommended personnel, and particularly if the Guatemalan Government were asked to pay any considerable sum in connection with the sending of such a mission.

Respectfully yours,

John M. Cabot
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