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confidential information a translation of the projected DominicanHaitian boundary treaty.87 The text of the treaty has been informally agreed upon, but it has not yet been made public. I have [etc.]


Guatemala and Honduras


The Guatemalan Legation to the Department of State


With a view to reaching an agreement relative to the existing boundary dispute between the two Republics, the Government of Guatemala, early in the year 1927, invited the Government of Honduras to discuss with it an amicable settlement of this question.

The Government of Honduras apparently accepted the invitation to a friendly discussion of the matter, and it was understood as a basis for a satisfactory settlement, that both Governments should agree to refrain from any kind of activity in the territory claimed by both.

However, during the last few months of 1927, the Government of Honduras, contrary to its declarations of friendship and to its announced intention of respecting the status quo in the disputed territory, permitted its military authorities to make repeated incursions into Guatemalan territory, interfering with the industry of the inhabitants and spreading disorder and alarm throughout the region.

At this time there is under construction a railway line between two places known respectively as Cacao and Chachagualillo, in Guatemalan territory, on the right bank of the Motagua River, which the Government of Guatemala considers contrary to the declarations of friendship of the high authorities of Honduras.

The Government of Guatemala, desirous of maintaining harmonious relations with the neighboring Republic of Honduras and of continuing the policy of conciliation and of prudence which it has always employed in its relations with the latter and with other Central American countries, has to date contented itself with reiterating protests against such predatory acts; but succeeded thereby only in securing a temporary suspension of the armed invasions, which have promptly been renewed against its territory without consideration of the rights of Guatemala.

The Government of Guatemala has already demanded that the Government of Honduras suspend these invasions and stop the construction of the above mentioned railway; but if, as the previous conduct of the latter Government leads it to fear, these demands are not acceded to, the Government of Guatemala will be under the obligation of making its rights respected by such means as are necessary, in order to preserve the sacred interests of the Nation, and responsibility will rest upon the Government of Honduras for the consequences of its unjustifiable acts.

Not printed. For text of the treaty as signed at Santo Domingo, Jan. 21, 1929, see League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. cv, p. 193. Ratifications were exchanged at Santo Domingo, Apr, 29, 1929.

** For previous correspondence, see Foreign Relations, 1923, vol. I, pp. 354 I.

The Minister of Guatemala in Washington, in accordance with instructions from his Government, has the honor to place the above facts before the Department of State of the United States, for its consideration.

WASHINGTON, February 10, 1928.

714.1515/549a : Telegram

T'he Secretary of State to the Minister in Honduras (Summerlin)

WASHINGTON, February 11, 1928—1 p. m. 13. The Guatemalan Minister informs the Department that his Government is again protesting to the Government of Honduras against violations of the status quo in the disputed territory, and particularly against the construction of a railway line between Cacao and Chachagualillo.

Please investigate and report, ascertaining especially whether any railway construction is being carried on in the disputed territory.


714.1515/550 : Telegram

The Minister in Honduras (Summerlin) to the Secretary of State

TEGUCIGALPA, February 13, 1928–11 a. m.

[Received 4:53 p. m.] 26. Department's telegram number 13, February 11, 7 p. m. Presi. dent Paz states that the Cuyamel Fruit Company has constructed beyond Cacao and without authority 400 meters of tram line for transportation of fruit to the railway head and that despite the fact that his Government considers this as Honduranean territory and not in dispute, on the 11th instant he called Turnbull, senior official of Cuyamel Company in Honduras, to Tegucigalpa by plane and personally gave peremptory orders for the suspension of all construction work in that region. Turnbull returned to the north coast by plane yesterday morning. Repeated to Guatemala.


714.1515/552: Telegram

The Minister in Honduras (Summerlin) to the Secretary of State

TEGUCIGALPA, February 13, 1928–2 p. m.

[Received 8:11 p. m.] 27. My telegram number 26, February 13, 11 a. m. The Minister for Foreign Affairs has just shown me copies of telegrams from Honduranean authorities at Omoa and Cortes reporting that a Guatemalan force of 1 chief and 50 men has invaded Honduranean territory at Chachagualilla, captured the chief of the small guard there, and are now occupying that outpost. Coello stated that his Government has protested vigorously against this invasion and outrage and has requested immediate restoration of Honduranean force at Chachagualilla and withdrawal of Guatemalan force. Repeated to Guatemala.


714.1515/557 : Telegram

The Honduran Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs (Coello) to the

Secretary of State


TEGUCIGALPA, February 14, 1928.

[Received 11:30 p. m.] Guatemalan military forces have unexpectedly invaded Honduran territory and taken prisoner the commander of the Chachahualia post that was established as far back as 1917 and put in its place a Guatemalan guard. In answer to a protest of Honduran Government Guatemala alleges works started by the Cuyamel Fruit Company but the Honduran Government forbade in good time the work that had been started without authority and gave assurances to Guatemala that it would not be resumed. So my Government regards as unwarranted and unnecessary the act of violence of the Government of Guatemala which it has asked immediately to withdraw the Chachahualia forces. As the American Government has been acting as mediator between the two countries in the boundary dispute and as the present attitude of Guatemala may leave room for a serious encroachment on that peace in which your government has taken so noble an interest, I venture to urge the influence and mediation of the Department towards restoring the status quo ante between Honduras and Guatemala by vacating the invaded places and withdrawing the forces that menace the border. Honduras would be glad later to accept a well defined neutral line to be surveyed and fixed by the American Government pending the final settlement of the boundary dispute. The Honduran

Government will be very thankful if the American Government will take action that will be decisive to avert graver consequences. I beg Your Excellency to accept my high consideration.


714.1515/554 : Telegram

The Minister in Honduras (Summerlin) to the Secretary of State

TEGUCIGALPA, February 14, 1928–3 p. m.

[Received February 15—12:50 a. m.] 28. My telegram No. 27, February 13, 2 p. m. The Minister for Foreign Affairs has informed me that he has received a telegram dated yesterday from the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Guatemala stating that orders have been given to release the commander of Chachahualia and to return the arms taken over at that place and adding “that the Government of Guatemala is disposed to order the evacuation of Chachahualia provided the Government of Honduras will reciprocate by agreeing not to reoccupy it and to respect the status quo in all the disputed zone until some amicable agreement as to what is the boundary line between the two countries shall have been reached.”

I understand that the proposal regarding the non-reoccupation of Chachahualia is not acceptable to Honduras.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs has furnished me with a copy of a telegram which he said has been forwarded to you directly.89 Repeated to Guatemala.


714.1515/558 : Telegram

The Minister in Honduras (Summerlin) to the Secretary of State TEGUCIGALPA, February 15, 1928-noon.

[Received 4:10 p. m.] 29. My telegram No. 28, February 14, 3 p. m. President Paz stated to me this morning that after the withdrawal of the Guatemalan forces from Chachahualia he would send Coello, Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, to investigate the alleged railway construction work reported to have been done by the Cuyamel Company and asked if Major Cruse % might accompany Coello. He added that the Guatemalan Minister here has been invited to accompany him. Repeated to Guatemala.


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714.1515/557 : Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Honduran Acting Minister for Foreign

Affairs (Coello)

WASHINGTON, February 16, 1928. I have received Your Excellency's telegram of February 14 con. cerning conditions in the territory which is in dispute between Honduras and Guatemala. Further information which I have received leads me to hope that the difficulties which you describe are now in a way to be satisfactorily adjusted. It is my understanding that the railway construction which gave ground for protests by the Government of Guatemala has been abandoned and that the Honduran official who is said to have been arrested at Chachahualia has been released.

It is my opinion, and one which I feel sure that Your Excellency shares, that the status quo in the disputed territory should be maintained, and that neither of the disputants should alter the existing situation in any way pending a final settlement of the boundary question. This I believe is also the opinion of the Government of Guatemala. The chief difficulty, however, and the cause for such inci. dents as appear to have occurred during the past few days, would seem to arise from the lack of a definite understanding as to the exact nature of the status quo and the extent of the territory in dispute. I have noted Your Excellency's statement that Honduras would be glad to accept a well defined neutral line pending the final settlement of the boundary dispute. You may be sure that the Department of State will be glad to lend its good offices in any way which may be acceptable to both parties to the dispute in an effort to bring about a satisfactory arrangement.


714.1515/562a : Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Honduras (Summerlin)


WASHINGTON, February 21, 192848 p. m. 15. The Honduran Legation has requested the Department's opinion of an arrangement which it is stated the Government of Honduras contemplates proposing to Guatemala that

1. An inspection of the disputed territory be made to determine for the time being a better defined neutral line;

2. An agreement to proceed without delay to a final settlement of the boundary dispute, including if possible the definition of the final boundary line;

3. An obligation on the part of both Governments to submit the matter to the United States for arbitration if no agreement reached under 2.

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