715.1715/1515: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Representative of the President ( Corrigan )18

113. For the Ambassador. The Department has been informed by the American Legations in Managua and Tegucigalpa that border incidents have occurred during the past few weeks on the Honduran-Nicaraguan [Page 455] border near the villages of Somoza in Nicaragua and Lagunilla in Honduras. Nicaragua first protested in a note to Honduras dated September 13, 1940 that in early September Honduran officials had crossed to Nicaragua and arrested Nicaraguan citizens. On September 25, 1940 Honduras made a counter-protest in reply that officials of Nicaragua had entered Honduras near a place called Lagunilla and had moved the boundary markers back about 400 meters into Honduran territory and that a detachment of the Nicaraguan Army was still on Honduran territory.

The Governments of both Honduras and Nicaragua seem to be convinced that the incidents are not for the present sufficiently serious to endanger the peace between the two countries. The Government of the United States has expressed the hope to both Governments that the present difficulty will not be permitted to assume more serious proportions and that the work of the Mediation Commission will not be jeopardized by these incidents which occurred along the boundary line already agreed upon by Honduras and Nicaragua at points which are a considerable distance from the territory now under dispute. The Department has suggested to Honduras and Nicaragua that the two Governments, without prejudice to the mediation proceedings, appoint qualified surveyors to make a joint survey of the boundary at the places where the position of the markers is in dispute and that if the two Governments are unable to agree on such a procedure they might desire to enlist the cooperation of the Mediation Commission. Please inform your colleagues on the Commission of the above.

You will be informed regarding further developments.

  1. Mr. Corrigan had returned to his post at Caracas as Ambassador to Venezuela.