The Minister in Costa Rica ( Hornibrook ) to the Secretary of State

No. 2950

Sir: Referring to my despatches Nos. 2921 and 2937 of February 18 and 26, respectively, 1941,5 concerning the German and Italian merchant ships seeking refuge at Puntarenas, I have the honor to enclose a memorandum containing the remarks made to me by Foreign Minister Echandi on the subject.

Respectfully yours,

Wm. H. Hornibrook

Memorandum by the Vice Consul at San José (Zweig)

During the visit of Foreign Minister Alberto Echandi at the Minister’s residence on the afternoon of February 28, 1941, he expressed the opinion that the German and Italian merchant ships Eisenach and Fella, seeking refuge at Puntarenas, could block the harbor by merely moving a few hundred yards nearer the dock and scuttling themselves in front of the pier. He said that Costa Rica could not prevent this action as it was in a position to do nothing but hold up its hands and ask them to stop if the crews tried to scuttle the ships.

The Foreign Minister made these remarks presumably because of representations made to him by the British Chargé d’Affaires in San José.

B[en] Z[weig]
  1. Despatch No. 2921, February 18, not printed.