The Secretary of State to the Minister in Guatemala (Whitehouse)44a

No. 145

Sir: In a letter of October 9 from the Acting Chief of the Bureau of Public Roads of the Department of Agriculture reference is made to the fact that a few months ago permission was obtained through the Legation at San José for an aerial survey to be made by army aircraft from the Panama Canal Zone of certain portions of Costa Rica in connection with the reconnaissance surveys now in progress to locate the most desirable route for the projected Inter-American Highway. The aerial surveys over Costa Rica have, the writer states, been partially completed and a program has now been outlined, he [Page 713] adds, for similar aerial surveys of the especially difficult portions of the projected route through the other four Central American countries. He requests that steps be taken to obtain, if possible, from the Government of each of these countries permission for the projected aerial survey of the routes, described in the letter, through each country.

The following is his description of the routes through Guatemala over which permission to make the aerial survey is desired:

“From San Cristobal on the boundary between El Salvador and Guatemala, through Asuncion Mita, Jutiapa, Azacualpa, Molino, Pino, Guatemala City, Chimaltenango, Patzicia, Tecpam, Las Encuentros, Totonicapan, San Mateo, San Marcos, Rodeo and Malacate to a point on the Suchiate River, which forms the boundary between Guatemala and Mexico.

“This route follows the highway which already exists between the points mentioned.

“The following spur lines may be deemed necessary for aerial surveys, and should be included in the request to the Government of Guatemala: (1) From Platanar, via Jalpatagua and Jocotillo to Molino; (2) From Patzicia, via Panajachel and Solola to Las Encuentros; and, (3) From San Mateo, via Coatepeque to Ayutla on the boundary between Guatemala and Mexico.”

The writer of the letter adds the following observation:

“The order and direction of the flights above listed may have to be changed after conferences on the ground between the field engineers of this Bureau and the Air Corps officers, but the control points will remain as stated.”

Since the surveys are scheduled to start December 1, 1931 in order that they may, in accordance with expectations, all be completed during that month, expedition in obtaining permission in so far as possible will, it is said, be appreciated by the Bureau of Public Roads.

Please take the matter up with the appropriate authorities in such manner as you deem desirable and report by cable, as promptly as you conveniently can, the results of your action.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Francis White
  1. Similar instructions were sent to the American missions in El Salvador (No. 203), Honduras (No. 188), and Nicaragua (No. 248). The instructions varied only in the technical directions for the surveys, each mission being informed only of the route of survey pertinent to the country in which it was situated as set forth in the memorandum of October 9 from the Acting Chief of the Bureau of Public Roads of the Department of Agriculture, p. 710.