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File No. 815.00/1041.
Tegucigalpa, January 28, 1911. The Government is resolved to approve convention and loan. To that end, it is necessary that hostilities be suspended to avoid useless bloodshed. If Your Excellency can lend your valuable intervention for the purpose of terminating the war, the people and Government of Honduras will have cause to be grateful once more to the United States and its worthy Chief Magistrate for the great interest they take in the tranquility and prosperity of this country.
am, etc. quinty and prosenstrate for the more to the Unitent
MIGUEL R. Dávila.
File No. 815.00/1040.
The American Minister to the Secretary of State.
Tegucigalpa, January 29, 1911. Mr. McCreery says, in reference to the telegram sent January 28 by the President of Honduras to the President of the United States, that President Dávila desires the United States to act as arbitrator in the present situation; that he could call his country to arms and oppose Bonilla at a cost of life and money, but he is willing to deliver the Presidency to some competent man agreed upon who is not a declared candidate; that he will retire only on condition that the United States name or at least approve the nomination of the President for the next term; and that if Bonilla would also make a sacrifice it would be a benefit to the country.
File No. 815.00/1037.
JANUARY 29, 1911. A convenient order of procedure would seem to be: Armistice; approval of convention by Congress; and an agreement as to the presidency.
File No. 815.00/1038.
JANUARY 29, 1911. The President states that the orders of the commanders of the English and American naval vessels in Puerto Cortes to restrict Government troops to a neutral zone separated from its bases places the troops at a great disadvantage. The Government is making every effort to raise men. The President repeats that he is ready to deliver the presidency to any person designated by the United States.
File No. 815.00/1051.
JANUARY 30, 1911. Under article 90 of the constitution three persons are designated annually by Congress to exercise executive power in case the presidency and vice presidency become vacant. As these designations should be made by February 1, the President of Honduras desires the United States Government to approve the designates, as he feels that this is the only way his retirement can benefit the country, and if the war is fought to the end the result will be loss of life and property and Honduras will be the loser, whatever the outcome.
File No. 815.00/1054A.
The Secretary of State to the American Minister.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, January 31, 1911. Mr. Knox instructs Mr. McCreery to inform the President of Honduras that the following telegraphic instruction was sent on this date to the commanding officer in Honduran waters:
You are authorized to take such military measures as may be necessary to prevent any fighting in Puerto Cortes, and you may accept the cooperation of the British commander in such measures.
In notifying Manuel Bonilla that the whole city of Puerto Cortes is to be treated as noncombatant ground, you will urge upon him an immediate armis. tice, assuring him, in that case, of the impartial good offices of the United States, and impress upon him that in offering its mediation to prevent further useless bloodshed the Government of the United States is actuated by a desire to serve the best interests of Honduras by measures tending to prevent violation of the neutrality laws of the United States and in accordance with the moral relation of the United States Government to the situation under the Washington conventions, as well as to protect its own interests; that in now placing itself at the disposition of both parties to compose by peaceful means a disastrous controversy the Government of the United States stands ready to seek to secure terms satisfactory to both, including such settlement of any question of the presidency as would best represent the will of the people of Honduras and the legitimate aspirations of all parties, consistent with adequate guaranties of peace and stability.
Inform Bonilla that a similar communication has been sent to President Dávila and say that the decks of the American naval vessels present will be offered for the purpose of negotiations in the presence of a representative of the United States, whose kindly counsel will be at the disposition of both parties. File No. 815.00/1229. The President of the United States to the President of Honduras.
THE WHITE HOUSE,
Washington, January 31, 1911. I have received Your Excellency's telegram as evidence of your sincere desire to prevent useless bloodshed and disastrous waste of the already depleted resources of your country and as a fresh token of your appreciation of the fact that the Government of the United States is animated solely by a sincere desire to do what it can, within proper limits, to further the prosperity and welfare of the people of Honduras.
The importance of the loan negotiations to which you allude lies in their being a contributory means to the same end and this Government's interest is because their object commends itself alike to all true friends of the people of Honduras for whose benefit, and only with whose sanction, its consummation is desired.
You will have learned from our minister of what this Government has been able to do in offering its good offices to secure peaceful adjustment of the pending difficulties and to prevent fratricidal conflict.
Wm. H. Tart.
File No. 815.00/1104A.
The Acting Secretary of State to the American Minister.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, February 10, 1911. Mr. Wilson says the following telegram has been sent to the commanding officer in Honduran waters for his information and guidance, the text of which is to be transmitted to Gen. Bonilla and likewise to President Dávila :
Relying upon the patriotic aims of the two parties in Honduras, and upon their conciliatory attitude which has been evidenced by the signing of an armistice, Mr. Thomas C. Dawson, of the American Diplomatic Service, has been instructed by the President to proceed to Puerto Cortes at once as representative of the United States Government and place himself at the disposition of the contending parties to facilitate an equitable adjustment of the contentions that so seriously injure the welfare and peace of Honduras.
File No. 815.00/1189A.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, February 11, 1911. THOMAS C. Dawson, Esq.,
Washington, D. C. Sir: You have been designated special commissioner of the United States, and you are instructed to proceed at your early convenience to Honduras by way of New Orleans, La., and Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, availing at the latter place of a war vessel of the United States, to which proper instructions have already been issued to convey you to Puerto Cortes, Honduras. On your arrival there you will at once communicate with the representatives of the Government of Honduras and of the insurrectionist party, respectively, and you will use your impartial good offices to compose, by peaceful means, the controversy between them.
In pursuance of your mission you are instructed to invite the ropresentatives of the Government and insurrectionist parties to meet, in the presence of yourself as the representative of the United States, on the decks of the American naval vessels in Honduran waters, and you will place your kindly counsel at the disposition of
both parties in order to secure a peaceful adjustment of the pending difficulties and to prevent the useless shedding of blood in a fratricidal conflict.
For your information and guidance I inclose herewith copies of telegraphic correspondence relative to the proposed mediation by the United States. As you are already familiar with them, the views and desires of this Government will doubtless sufficiently appear from the above outline, and further instructions will be sent to you from time to time.
You will keep the Department fully advised as to the situation, and when your presence is no longer necessary in Honduras you are authorized to return to the United States directly or by way of Guatemala City, at your discretion.
You will be entitled to draw upon the Secretary of State for your actual and necessary traveling and living expenses while engaged in your mission. I am, etc.,
File No. 815.00/1134A.
The Secretary of State to the Special Commissioner,
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, February 21, 1911. Mr. Knox refers to the Honduran Loan Convention pending in the Senate and the Bankers' Agreement and Fiscal Agreement which were executed February 15, and says the Department is unofficially informed of the indictment of Bonilla, Christmas, and others, by the grand jury at New Orleans for breach of United States neutrality statutes in the Hornet case. Mr. Knox informs Mr. Dawson that as the said judicial proceedings are quite independent of the Department it will hardly be necessary for him to explain that the situation referred to above will not influence the attitude of the Government of the United States in the impartial discharge of its good offices at the conferences where he will represent the United States and seek to adjust the differences existing between Gen. Bonilla and President Dávila.
File No. 815.00/1284.
Extract from the minutes of the peace conference held at Puerto
Cortes on board U.S. S.“ Tacoma.” 1
The commission named to compose the peace conference met at Puerto Cortes, Republic of Honduras, on board the American war vessel Tacoma, February 21, 1911, for the purpose of reaching an amicable termination of the civil war which is at present agitating the country.
* Transmitted by the Special Commissioner in his report, dated April 30, 1911.
The commissioners so named, and their secretaries, were: The Hon. Thomas C. Dawson, special commissioner of the Government of the United States; the Hon. Dr. Alberto Membreño and the Hon. Dr. Fausto Dávila, commissioners of the provisional government of Gen. Manuel Bonilla; the Hon. Gen. Máximo B. Rosales, commissioner of the government of Don Miguel R. Dávila; Don Claude I. Dawson, secretary of the commissioner of the United States of America; Dr. Francisco A. Matute and Manuel F. Barahona, secretaries of the commissioners of the revolution and of the Government, respectively.
1. The commissioners and the secretaries exhibited their powers, which, being in due form, were mutually accepted.
2. Mr. Dawson stated that the object of the conference was well known to all; he cherished the hope that it would have the most complete success, reestablishing peace in Honduras in order to avert unnecessary shedding of blood and as a guarantee of the national interests; the Government of the United States had offered to lend its good offices in order to reach that end, without preference of either of the contending parties; he read his instructions to that effect.
3. Mr. Dawson was elected to preside.
4. The president asked the commissioners of the revolution and of the Government to express their ideas concerning the situation of the country from the point of view of their instructions. The commissioners thereupon stated the desires of their constituents. 5. Adjourned.
NINTH ORDINARY SESSION.
The session was opened March 3, 1911, Mr. Dawson presiding.
1. The minutes of the preceding session were read and approved without discussion.
2. The commission took up the draft of an agreement to be proposed to the respective constituents, which was approved after a short discussion, and is as follows:
The conference agrees that the candidate for provisional president, which it approves, shall have the support of all the political factions of the country that are allied with the Government and the revolution, in order to facilitate practically and efficiently the discharge of his functions and lead to their complete success.
ARTICLE I. The provisional government will be obligated :
(a) To introduce in the National Congress a bill of amnesty, covering military and political crimes and offenses related to politics, the Government being obligated to make a law of amnesty which shall be practical and effective.
(b) To guarantee absolute liberty to all political parties, and to Hondurans in general, in the approaching elections for supreme and local authorities; and to guarantee to an equal degree other public liberties in conformity with our laws.
(c) To recognize and pay the debts of the Government and of the Revolution and the losses suffered as a result of the present civil wars.
(d) To grant pensions to the disabled and to discharge and pay the forces of the Government and of the Revolution.
(e) To organize the Government and the public administration with persons of well-known integrity, without taking into account their political affiliation, and to this end treating and considering the friends of the Revolution and of the Government on the basis of perfect equality.
(f) The provisional President will form the cabinet distributing the portfolios equally among friends of the Government and of the Revolution. In case of resignation of one or more of the ministers, they will be replaced in conformity with this stipulation,