715.1715/1493

The Representative of the President ( Corrigan ) to the Secretary of State

No. 120

Sir: I have the honor to report that I arrived in San José via Pan-American Airways plane from Cristobal at 10:45 A.M. Sunday, April 28. A preliminary meeting of the three members was held in [Page 445] my suite in the Gran Hotel Costa Rica and a formal meeting of the Mediation Commission was set for the next morning at 10:00 A.M. in the office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica. This meeting was held today at the hour fixed, with Licenciado Tobías Zúrñga Montúfar presiding and the other members of the Commission, Dr. José Santiago Rodriguez and Dr. Frank P. Corrigan present. At this meeting which lasted for over two hours and-a-half, the correspondence which had accumulated since the last meeting, was reviewed and plans laid for the future action of the Commission. I had an extended conversation with General Saturnino Medal, the Honduran Minister to Costa Rica, on Sunday evening previous to the meeting. Dr. Rodriguez had also called on General Medal and we had both discussed with him independently the affairs of the mediation. Upon comparing notes we both thought that we sensed a changed attitude on his part, a softening of his former obduracy and an apparent desire that the efforts of the Mediation Commission should meet with success. We both had come away from our interviews with General Medal with an optimistic feeling that the change in him reflected a modification of the hitherto intransigent attitude of his Government.

At the meeting this morning it was decided that certain suggestions which he had made in his interview with me with regard to a fresh approach to the Honduran Government should be incorporated in a memorandum. This memorandum which is to be drafted this afternoon, shall form the basis of a new note to be sent to Honduras later on if further investigation encourages our present hope that it will be well received. Dr. Rodríguez, the Venezuelan member, is disposed to think that if a note is sent without this previous investigation that another refusal by Honduras might lead to a definite breach with the Honduran Government, and peril the continuation of the mediation. General Medal’s suggestions were to the effect that assurance be given the Honduran Government by the Commission that acceptance of the proposal to employ the necessary scientific methods for securing exact geographical data of the territory in dispute, in no way implies a decision on the fundamental questions involved nor of the juridical position maintained by Honduras.

I have made appointments with the outgoing President, León Cortés, for 3 o’clock, and with the President-Elect, Dr. Rafael Angel Calderón Guardia, for 4 o’clock. The Commission plans to meet again at 4:30 P.M. to draw up the memorandum referred to above which I will take with me to the Department.

Respectfully yours,

Frank P. Corrigan