172. Telegram 187069 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Guatemala1

187069. Subject: Belize Issue in UNGA. Reference: Belize 525.

1. British EmbOffs Ling and Samuels (Vice Cape) called on Dep. Asst. Sec. Bowdler and CEN officers at our invitation to discuss status of HMG efforts to discourage Price and Caribbean countries from raising Belize issue at UNGA. EmbOffs said they were not at all sure how convincing HMG had been in dissuading Price. HMG officials characterized Price as unpredictable and unconvinced that Guatemalans were sincere about opening serious talks after March 1974 elections. They said HMG would have stronger case with Price if GOG was willing to disclose to him the broad outlines of its secret plan.

2. Bowdler said GOG FonMin Arenales had made clear his concern that if the Belize issue were raised at the UNGA he would have to make a strong rejoinder. Reply might have to be stronger than he would like because of delicate Presidential campaign. This in turn might adversely affect the prospects for talks after the elections. It was also noted that [Page 490] the GOG would most probably view an UNGA initiative as an act of bad faith on the part of Price and HMG.

3. Lazar, who accompanied Wollam in the call on Governor Posnett (reftel), asked if the EmbOffs were aware that Posnett was encouraging Price to raise the Belize issue at the UNGA. Ling professed to be unaware of any such activity on Posnett’s part and promised to investigate.

4. In response to a question, Ling reported that Consul Weymes had not held further discussions with Sanchez nor had HMG taken any other steps to apprise the GOG of the strong probability that the Belize issue would be raised in the Fourth Committee probably by Jamaica. He recognized that at least to forewarn the GOG might preserve some measure of good faith and said he would pass the suggestion on. The thought was to approach Arenales in New York.

5. Comment: Ling & Samuels were very relaxed and gave no evidence of concern over the negative effect an initiative at the UNGA on Belize would have on the GOG. If indeed Governor Posnett was operating on his own without instructions one would have expected more than the casual reaction they disclosed. It appears increasingly possible that HMG is encouraging Price in order to lever faster action out of GOG.

  1. Summary: During a meeting to discuss the Belize issue, Director of the Office of Central American Affairs David Lazar asked British Embassy officials if they were aware that Governor Posnett had encouraged Premier Price to raise the issue of Belizean independence at the United Nations General Assembly.

    Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, [no film number]. Confidential. Repeated to Belize City, London, Kingston, and USUN New York. Drafted by Pezzullo and approved by Bowdler. Telegram 525 from Belize City, September 15, is ibid. In telegram 537 from Belize City, September 20, 2150Z, the Consulate reported that Posnett told Wollam that his remarks on Belizean independence, which had come back to him through Washington, had been misunderstood, and that British policy still discouraged raising Belize’s independence at the UN. (Ibid.)