The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in Guatemala ( Geissler )
44. Your telegram 98, July 29. For the sake of expedition and economy the Department still believes it would be preferable to have Shufeldt case decided by a single Arbitrator. Call Foreign Minister’s attention to the fact that Article 55, Hague Convention of 1907 for Pacific Settlement of International Disputes,31 to which Guatemala and the United States are parties, as well as Pan American Convention of 1910, contains provisions for a single arbitrator. The Department, however, has never suggested an American national as Arbitrator. It has been suggested that Sir Herbert Sisnett, Chief Justice of British Honduras, might be suitable. If the Guatemalan Government cannot agree to his selection or if he is not available, it might be possible to agree upon a Canadian jurist.
While the Department desires that the Tribunal should open its sessions as soon as practicable after the exchange of notes, it considers that the Arbitral procedure should be definitely decided before an attempt is made to fix the time for the Tribunal to sit. The Department also deems it desirable to defer a decision as to the amount of honorarium for the arbitrator. The amount to be paid a single arbitrator might be somewhat in excess of that which would be paid to one of several.
If Sir Herbert Sisnett is selected it would probably be convenient for him to sit at Belize. If a Canadian is selected he might sit in either Canada or the United States.
Discuss with Foreign Minister and telegraph result.