714.44A15/4–348: Telegram

The Ambassador in Colombia ( Beaulac ) to the Secretary of State


Delbog 28. In conversation this morning between Garcia Granados of Guatemala and Daniels,1 former expressed following views re colonial problem:

Guatemala is prepared to reestablish normal conditions in relations with Belize, and specifically to reopen the frontier, as soon as all British troops which recently arrived there are completely withdrawn.
Guatemala hoped that there would be no change in political status of British Honduras pending settlement of dispute, and that for time being no action would be taken by British Government in introducing refugees or other colonists.
Guatemala was still willing to have Belize dispute arbitrated by International Court of Justice, but not merely on interpretation of treaty.2 Guatemala felt all circumstances leading to conclusion of treaty in first instance should be taken into account and arbitration should be on basis ex aequo et bono.

Garcia Granados added that his government did not desire to cause trouble with Great Britain in regard to their proposal regarding European colonies, but that there was an overwhelming support of Guatemalan thesis among American Republics. He felt that if British could take positive action and give adequate assurances along foregoing lines it would be much easier for conference to avoid taking action by resolution or otherwise objectionable to Great Britain.

Daniels reiterated Department’s position as set forth in recent memorandum to Guatemalan Embassy and other documents.

Please approach British Government urgently and urge action and assurances in line with Guatemalan suggestions listed above. Any such assurances obtained by US in confidence from British would be held by US here and used to the best of our ability in handling colonial problem here in hope of reaching solution which can be unanimously supported by twenty-one American Republics and at same time reasonably acceptable to British. It is believed to be in British interest to avoid open disagreement with American Republics so far as possible.

Garcia Granados further suggested that conference might create a permanent commission of American States to continue study of European colonial problem in western hemisphere. Before making any commitments would welcome expression Department’s views.

  1. Jorge García Granados, Jr., Attaché at the Guatemalan Embassy in the United States, and Vice Chairman of the Guatemalan Delegation to the Bogotá Conference; Paul C. Daniels, Director, Office of American Republic Affairs, and one of the Delegates Plenipotentiary to the Conference.
  2. Anglo-Guatemalan convention relating to the boundary of British Honduras, signed at Guatemala, April 30, 1859; for text, see British and Foreign State Papers, vol. xlix, p. 7.