714.44A15/136a: Telegram

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

13. After discussion with Mr. Cabot20 of the suggestion of the British Minister made to you on February 22 regarding the Belize question, the Department would be reluctant to urge or to have you urge any such concrete proposal on either party, since by doing so it would be taking a position that might later cause embarrassment to the American citizen who will act as umpire of the arbitral tribunal.

As the Department sees the situation, both governments have now set forth their maximum pretensions. Both have indicated some willingness to recede from their maximum positions. The British Minister has now indicated to you in effect that his government is disposed [Page 430] to accept a clause in the terms of reference that would seem to go far toward meeting the objections of Guatemala. The Department wonders if the British Minister and Dr. Salazar were to engage in conversation to discuss specific modifications of the terms of reference as proposed by the British Government, there might not be evolved a clause that would be satisfactory to both parties.

If an appropriate occasion should be presented it would be helpful if you could endeavor to elicit from the British Minister some indication of when and how the Guatemalan Government is otherwise to be apprised of the maximum concession which the British Government is prepared to make with respect to the terms of reference.

The Department would appreciate your comment on the foregoing.

  1. John M. Cabot, Second Secretary of Legation in Guatemala, on leave in the United States.