862.85/2105: Telegram

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

124. In compliance with Department’s telegram No. 87 of May 27, 6 p.m.15 I called on the President and made inquiry in the sense indicated. He informed me that he himself did not give any assurance to the German and Italian diplomatic representatives but that the Foreign Minister gave them the assurances of his Government that the [Page 91] United States Government would place no obstacle in the way of the men being permitted to embark for Japan by the first available Japanese vessel calling in the Zone. He explained that the assurance given by the executive branch to the Axis diplomats was to avoid difficulties with the judicial branch of the Government because Costa Rica could not legally turn over these men to another Government.

President Calderón Guardia referred to the decree issued on May 20 which grants general amnesty to the crews under the condition that they abandon Costa Rican territory immediately and not remain in any neighboring republic through which they must pass en route to Japan, and that they defray their expenses for their return to their homelands.

The President added that of course if the German and/or the Italian Governments make no efforts to have the seamen embark for Japan within a reasonable time, either by Japanese vessel or by a ship of another nationality, the assurances given by the Costa Rican Government would naturally no longer be applicable.

I have no information as to what arrangements the Minister for Foreign Affairs may have made with the German and Italian diplomats concerning the steps to be taken by their Governments to have the men transported to Japan, but the decree of amnesty mentioned above would indicate that Italy and/or Germany agreed to have the seamen repatriated at the expense of their Governments and without cost to the Costa Rican Government.

  1. Not printed.