714.44A15/249: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Winant ) to the Secretary of State

3208. Personal for the Acting Secretary. I have discussed very fully with Mr. Eden6 the British-Guatemalan controversy regarding the boundary between Guatemala and British Honduras and I am sending you a copy by air mail pouch of a lengthy study of the case7 prepared in the Foreign Office, which he gave me.

Mr. Eden made it plain that this question is rather a sore point with them. They regard the principle involved as one of great importance and not one which it would be in their real interest to solve [Page 211] by what they would consider a unilateral concession to Guatemala at a time when the Empire is under pressure; they do not think that Guatemala has a legal case and there exists an apprehension, which I am sure is genuine, that a concession now to the Guatemalan point of view would be interpreted in more quarters than one as a sign of weakness and likely to give rise to similar demands in other parts of the world. I personally do not think that this is a good moment for us to press for a solution. It would arouse resentment and the feeling that we were taking advantage of the war and the present world situation to attempt to force Great Britain to grant a concession now on this longstanding controversy.


[In 1942 the United States presented a proposal for arbitration of the dispute between Guatemala and the United Kingdom regarding British Honduras but no progress was made in reaching an agreement. The 1942 correspondence is not to be printed.]

  1. Anthony Eden, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
  2. Not printed.