715.1715/1549: Telegram

The Chargé in Costa Rica (Dwyre) to the Secretary of State

151. The Minister for Foreign Affairs this morning read to me the closing paragraphs of a long note dated June 13, 1941 and addressed to him by the Honduran Minister for Foreign Affairs,58 in which it is intimated that the mission of the Mediation Commission in the Honduras–Nicaragua boundary dispute has been a failure and consequently the Commission should cease to [apparent omission] that Honduras adheres only to the award of the King of Spain and intends to take appropriate measures to defend its sovereignty.

He has requested me to ascertain whether or not the Government of the United States and the Government of Venezuela have received similar notes from the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Honduras,59 and I should appreciate the Department’s immediate telegraphic reply on that point in order that I may inform Señor Echandi. In the event both the United States and Venezuela have received similar notes, he suggests that similar replies may be made by the three Governments.

Señor Echandi expressed grave concern over any steps which Honduras might take at this time to take from the hands of the Commission a matter which might result in armed conflict between Honduras and Nicaragua. He has sounded out the Honduran and Nicaraguan Ministers in San José and believes they have no information concerning the decision taken by Honduras and he is especially anxious that Nicaragua not learn of the note sent to him.

The Foreign Minister proposes to transcribe the note to the Costa Rican member of the Mediation Commission, Tobías Zuñiga Montúfar, in order that he may in turn bring it to the attention of the American and Venezuelan members of the Commission. He states he will also transcribe a copy thereof to the Costa Rican Minister at Washington in order that he may show it to the Department.

Minister Echandi feels that totalitarian influence may have induced the Government of Honduras to take the unfortunate steps referred to.

The Foreign Minister suggests that perhaps the Department may wish the American Minister in Tegucigalpa60 to suggest to the Honduran Government that it desist from taking the matter out of the hands of the Commission at this time; that if the Government of Honduras promises to decide to take no steps to take the matter out of the hands of the Commission, it could obtain the assurance that no suggestions for a settlement will be made by the Commission until [Page 258] after the war. The Foreign Minister has even thought of proceeding to Tegucigalpa to make this suggestion on the part of the Government of Costa Rica, but he fears that his visit at this time would be too conspicuous. He has also considered sending Don Luis Anderson, who is consulting attorney for the Honduran Government in the matter, to Tegucigalpa on such a mission, but he feels that Señor Anderson holds the same view as the Government of Honduras with reference to the validity of the award of the King of Spain.

The Foreign Minister requests by telegraph any information which the Department may have on this subject.61

  1. Salvador Aguirre.
  2. Note No. 1728 of June 13, 1941, to the Department, not printed, but see the reply dated September 5, p. 261.
  3. John D. Erwin.
  4. Telegram No. 115, June 24, 8 p.m., to the Chargé in Costa Rica not printed, but see telegram No. 31 to the Minister in Honduras, infra.