714.44A15/3–1248: Telegram

The Ambassador in Guatemala (Kyle) to the Secretary of State


133. Embassy informed closure Guatemala–British Honduras border causing serious losses to Weiss–Fricker mahogany company and other American lumbering concerns (Embtel 122, March 91). According H. M. Weis[s] of reference firm, his efforts here to obtain special permit to continue exporting logs through Belize unavailing as Foreign Minister determined to keep border closed as long as British cruiser remains off Belize.

[Page 82]

In view foregoing situation Dept may wish to suggest to British advisability taking initiative toward removing present tension by withdrawing war vessel (see Embtel 109, March 32). I have good reason to believe British are weighing possible effects such action.

In my opinion present situation is building up solidarity of other American representatives with Guatemalan efforts to force us to take positive stand at Bogotá3 against foreign possessions in continent. In view adverse effects of border closing on American business interests, I hope to have opportunity this once to bring matter informally to attention Foreign Minister and British Minister.4

  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. For documentation on the Ninth International Conference of American States, Bogotá Colombia, March 30–May 2, 1948, see pp. 1 ff.
  4. In airgram 70, March 15, not printed, Kyle reported that the Embassy had been in touch with the Guatemalan Foreign Minister, the British Minister, and Weiss, and that: “The problem is purely political. The position taken by the Foreign Minister … is that the border will remain closed until the British have withdrawn the cruiser from Belize.” (714.44A15/3–1548)