814.00/366: Telegram

The Minister in Guatemala ( McMillin ) to the Acting Secretary of State

46. On receipt of Department’s 20, March 17, 10 a.m. [5 p.m.] and 21 March 18, 5 p.m. I arranged interview with the President to carry out above stated instructions. When I made them known to him he requested me to express to our Government his gratitude for its confidence and action and his willingness to make the proclamation embracing the three points indicated in the Department’s 221 [22], March 19, 4 p.m.

When the situation became desperate here both sides urged the diplomatic corps to try to find a solution as heretofore reported. Protesting our want of authority or inclination to interfere in the nations affairs, we agreed finally to extend our unofficial good offices [Page 730] in getting representatives selected by both sides together to settle the matter themselves. The Unionists Party presented fourteen propositions, the granting of which they said would satisfy them. After several conferences part of these were dropped by mutual consent as unconstitutional or nonessential. Therefore when Departments 21, March 18, 5 p.m. was received, representatives of the Government and Unionists had agreed concerning all [propositions] Unionist submitted except two of small importance. The demands agreed to embrace substantially all four points contained in Department’s 20, March 17, 10 a.m. [5 p.m.]

Exercising the discretion allowed me in the above referred to instructions I told President Estrada he should include in his proclamation not only the three points mentioned above but also the four or five to which his committee had assented in the above mentioned conferences. He insisted on not complying, saying that it would diminish his prestige, but that he would carry them out. I reiterated my demand telling him that it was best for him and his country. He did not however agree to it. We are to confer together again tomorrow and in the absence of instructions to the contrary I will insist that he include the points I say or issue no statement from the Legation as contemplated in the Department’s instructions. His people and the Legation have lost all confidence in his promises and it would be the worst conceivable policy to allow him to exclude from his proclamation these points. He will have trouble enough whatever is done.

I deem it proper to report that I hear well authenticated reports that the Unionists desire to impeach him if they find it practicable. If they can control Congress, which is being sounded, it is not certain that a proclamation by him would stop this action.