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will be, sequestrated. Pursuant to presidential decree of July 24 as to sequestration, forwarded in my No. 252 of July 27, Maumus, receiver several [general], and Scarpa, director of the bank, were appointed sequestrators by the Minister of Justice.


File No. 763.72112/10826

Ecuador: German Cacao Plantations

The Ecuadorian Minister (Elizalde) to the Secretary of State

No. 22


WASHINGTON, October 29, 1918.
[Received October 30.]

MR. SECRETARY OF STATE: I have the honor to call the attention of the Secretary of State to the following:

Many years ago there were organized in Hamburg three joint stock companies, named "Plantagengesellschaft Clementina," "Deutsche Ecuador Cacao Plantagen und Export Gesellschaft,” "Cacao Plantagengesellschaft Puga."

These companies gave employment to farm hands, laborers, etc., about 4,000 persons, all Ecuadorians, and the cacao grown by them ranks among the best of the country. The heirs of Durán, Seminario, and Puga, who are the original owners of the respective plantations, have had their property thrown back upon them, so to speak, and in return do not now collect a cent, inasmuch as the Germans say that they have no orders to effect the payment of the shares owing to them, and also on account of there being no purchaser for the cacao grown on those estates for fear of the action that might be taken by the Allied representatives.

So, we have about 10,000 bags of cacao that can not be sold, 3,000 unemployed laborers in the Province of Los Rios, three Ecuadorian families, the largest owners of those lands, suffering the undeserved consequences of transactions that were lawful before the war, and a countless number of Ecuadorian planters for the account of the owners of the respective estates threatened with the loss of their property and the fruits of their labor.

The Minister of Foreign Relations of Ecuador has proposed some kind of arrangement to the Allied diplomatic representatives in Quito in order to protect the Ecuadorian interests involved. He has, for instance, spoken to them about appointing an Ecuadorian custodian of the said estates, the net proceeds thereof, after deducting

[blocks in formation]

the expenses, to be deposited in an Ecuadorian or American bank in the name of the Government of Ecuador.

But no solution has yet been reached and, under the circumstances, I am instructed to assist in bringing about an arrangement which would terminate a situation so anomalous and unfair as that described above; and I have thought that the most suitable way to deal with this case is simply and frankly to lay the facts before the Department of State, whose cooperation in adjusting the present difficulties may have a decisive influence.

Not only the sense of justice which guides the actions of the Government of the United States, but also the consideration of the ties of cordial friendship which it maintains with the Government of Ecuador, encourage me to apply to the Department of State for its cooperation in bringing these difficulties to an early settlement.

The Secretary of State can not fail to see that the present situation, affecting the economic welfare of the country, must hamper and weaken the efforts Ecuador is now making toward fulfilling its foreign economic engagements.

I avail myself [etc.]


File No. 763.72112/10826

The Secretary of State to the Ecuadorian Minister (Elizalde) No. 40

WASHINGTON, November 12, 1918.

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note No. 22, dated October 29, 1918, in reference to certain cacao plantations in the Province of Los Rios which have been so embarrassed by reason of German control that distress has resulted to the Ecuadorian owners and laboring population.

I greatly regret that the measures which have proved necessary to restrain the enemies of this Government have brought hardships upon certain citizens of Ecuador who are so unfortunate as to have been associated directly or indirectly with German interests. This Government would strongly favor any course which would effect the permanent elimination of the German interests in the properties in question and, I am pleased to assure you, upon the consummation of such an arrangement the interested departments of this Government will be more than willing to afford such facilities, financial or commercial, as may be necessary.

Accept [etc.]


File No. 814.01B

Guatemala and Nicaragua

The Minister in Guatemala (Leavell) to the Secretary of State


GUATEMALA, June 24, 1918, 11 a. m.
[Received June 25, 11.41 a. m.]

The Guatemalan Government offers to our influential American citizen, Daniel B. Hodgsdon, long-time resident of Guatemala, the position of custodian of alien properties, and he has asked my advice. Would the Department approve my advising him to accept? The appointment would be most desirable. Please advise as soon as you can.


File No. 814.01 B

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Guatemala (Leavell)


WASHINGTON, June 26, 1918, 4 p. m.

Your June 24, 11 a. m. Yes. If Government of Guatemala has decided to appoint such an official, Department would see no objection to Hodgsdon.


File No. 814.01B/1

The Minister in Guatemala (Leavell) to the Secretary of State


GUATEMALA, July 4, 1918, 10 a. m.
[Received July 5, 8.50 a. m.]

My cipher telegram June 24, 11 a. m. Hodgsdon has been appointed, and the Electric Light and Power Co. of Guatemala City, the Electric Light and Power and Telephone Cos. of Quezaltenango, and the Vera Paz Railway Co. have been placed in his hands to begin with.


File No. 814.01B/1

The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in Guatemala



WASHINGTON, July 12, 1918, 5 p. m.

Your July 4, 10 a. m. Has legislation similar to the United States Trading with the Enemy Act been enacted? If so, cable summary. It is most important that provision should be made in such legislation to invest full powers of sale of German properties in the Administration.

You may inquire of Guatemalan Government whether it should wish the friendly assistance and advice of a member of the United States War Trade Board for a short period to assist in organizing any bureau created by this legislation and thus insuring more perfect cooperation between Guatemala and the United States in these matters. Such a man would be paid by the United States War Trade Board.

Mail promptly statement showing approximate value Electric Light Co., Guatemala City, and normal earnings gross and net.


File No. 814.01B/2

The Minister in Guatemala (Leavell) to the Secretary of State


GUATEMALA, July 15, 1918, 12 noon.

[Received July 16, 8.18 a. m.]

Your July 12, 5 p. m. Taking over of the German properties here is entirely by presidential decree and is at present limited to the four properties named in my cipher telegram of July 4, 10 a. m., which are to be operated by the Custodian and those net receipts going to Germans held until the war ends. At the present moment nobody knows if President Cabrera intends to go beyond this point. As soon as I can see him, I will ask about this and the other latest instances. LEAVELL

File No. 814.01B/2

The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in Guatemala



WASHINGTON, July 23, 1918, 5 p. m.

Your July 15, 12 noon. The Government of the United States, in considering the question of enemy properties, has taken the attitude that (1) the transfer of the physical assets of German properties to

non-enemies be free from all enemy interests of any character and from all obligations or contracts to enemies, and (2) the proceeds of the sale of these physical assets should be held, the ultimate disposition to be determined at the termination of the war. This is also believed to be the attitude of Great Britain and France.

Communicate this to the Government of Guatemala and also to Hodgsdon, expressing the hope that the Government of Guatemala will take a similar attitude with respect to enemy properties.


File No. 763.72113/653a

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Guatemala (Leavell)1

No. 250

WASHINGTON, July 30, 1918. SIR: You are instructed to ask for an interview with President Cabrera and at this interview to tentatively sound him as to what steps might be contemplated by the Government of Guatemala with respect to the Germans and German-owned properties in that country. You may express to President Cabrera the deep interest which the Government of the United States takes in this question, pointing out at the same time the elaborate legislation and machinery created by the Government of the United States along these lines.

You may state that you feel confident that, should the Government of Guatemala be interested in taking similar steps, the Government of the United States would be prepared to loan to the Government of Guatemala for a short time a special agent of the United States War Trade Board and Alien Property Custodian, for the purpose of assisting the Government of Guatemala. The services of such an agent would give to the Government of Guatemala the benefit of the past experiences of the United States Government along these lines, as well as assuring a more perfect harmony of effort and closer cooperation between the two associated countries.

You may point out to President Cabrera that, were this special agent to come to Guatemala, his peculiar knowledge and experience could not fail to greatly facilitate commerce in general, an end greatly to be desired by both Governments.

The Department feels that it is highly desirable to have such an agent visit Guatemala and you are instructed to use your best efforts, reporting to the Department by cable the attitude which President Cabrera may take toward this proposition.

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:

'The same, mutatis mutandis, on July 31, to the Chargé in Honduras (No. 252) and to the Minister in Nicaragua (No. 219).

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