The Minister in Costa Rica ( Hornibrook ) to the Secretary of State
[Received March 31—9:35 a.m.]
54. Department’s telegram No. 45, March 30, 1 p.m. The President8 and Minister of War9 were interviewed by me tonight at 8 p.m. and after the substance of the above-mentioned telegram had been submitted to them they advised me that they propose to take possession of both German and Italian ships tomorrow. They requested that if an American destroyer or gunboat is in the proximity of Puntarenas it be despatched there immediately. They fear that they will be unable to prevent the ships from being scuttled and blocking the harbor because they lack technical advice which a United States naval vessel could confidentially give them. The President also asserted that the moral effect of the presence of such a vessel would be helpful. Substance repeated to Commandant 15th Naval District.