814.00/367: Telegram

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

47. Department’s 21, March 18, 5 p.m. Legation 46 March 21, 10 a.m.

Since my 44, March 16th, situation has so changed that I deem it proper to report conditions before concluding arrangements contemplated in Department’s 21, March 16 [18], 5 p.m., reported in the Legation’s 46 March 21, 10 a.m. Originally President proposed to place the entire situation in our hands and abide by our Government’s action. He had also agreed there should be no new provocations to violence pending efforts of neutral diplomats at the instance of both sides to find solution.

Notwithstanding these undertakings and Department’s 20, January [March] 17, 10 a.m. [5 p.m.] and especially items numbered 1, 2 and 3 thereof, Legation learns to-day that yesterday six political arrests were made in this city and many more arrests throughout the Republic, including six females. No time has elapsed to verify these reports. But I doubt not that [they] are true. Reported also that Unionists meetings interfered.

In my interview with President reported in the Legation’s 46, March 21, 10 a.m., I suggested wisdom of releasing certain political prisoners. It has not been done up to the present.

The President did not agree to include in his proclamation certain things I advised him to include. However, as we are to have another meeting he will possibly do so because he finds he cannot have; proposed settlement on other terms and not because he wants to.

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He has ruled autocratically so long and is surrounded by such evil influences that it is most difficult for him to change and reform the Government. He is so distrusted and condemned by large majority of his people that they will lend him no sympathetic help in changing. They want him out of this office and nothing less. No assurances he gives will satisfy them and our Government would probably have to force him to keep those he makes. It looks like only force can keep him in office. His Army is large but how true I cannot say. Under these circumstances I respectfully ask for further instructions.

I earnestly renew my request made in Legation’s 42 March 15, 2 p.m.8 that war vessels with marines be sent immediately to Puerto Barrios and San José.

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