714.44A15/113: Telegram

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

8. My telegram No. 7, January 29, 7 p.m. The British Minister has just furnished the following background for the British proposals regarding the question of Belize.

The British proposals are not final but are haggling terms.
The Minister’s instructions authorize him to accept terms of reference permitting the arbitral tribunal to pass upon the question “in all its aspects”.
The British do not insist upon excluding the possibility of territorial adjustments but will not accept terms of reference under which Great Britain’s basic title to Belize might be impugned.

The British Legation today informed the local newspapers of the proposals but omitted the proposed terms of reference. The Guatemalan first reaction to the proposals does not appear so unfavorable as might have been feared. The Guatemalans appear ready to accept the proposals as a point of departure for bargaining.

The Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs11 today stated confidentially that Guatemala doubted that an arbitral tribunal would rule that the Treaty of 1859 had lapsed.

Des Portes
  1. C. Fernández Cordova.