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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, 1920

Guatemala,   pp. 718-759 PDF (13.5 MB)

Page 757

and carried out my instructions. I urged that there should be no
step taken in the matter looking to the return of the properties to
the original owners till after the return of Mr. Innis from New
York. The Minister promised that nothing should be done in Mr.
Innis absence. After this I took occasion to say that I did not
see how the American purchasers could ever be deprived of their
property as they had bought it and the Government of Guatemala
had received the money, $496,000.00 [495,000.00]. He reminded
me of the fact that the Government had discharged, as he promised
me they would, the attorney for the "Intendencia" who recently
decided with the Germans and against the American purchasers
at a recent meeting of the stock holders.
I discussed other matters pertaining to German properties with
him which will be found further reported on in my Despatch No.
60 of this date.17
I have [etc.]                          BENTON MCMILLIN
The Secretary of State to the Minister in Guatemala (McMillin)
No. 399                          WASHINGTON, July 31, 19O.
SnI: You are requested to seek an early opportunity to discuss
with the proper officials of Guatemala the question of disposing of
the German properties which are now in the hands of the Govern-
ment. The Government of the United States will be glad to know
what action is contemplated by the Government of Guatemala in
regard to these properties.
The Government of the United States was deeply interested in
the seizure of these properties by Guatemala during the war, because
of its desire to assist Guatemala in any act which might weaken
the common enemy of the two republics. At the present time, how-
ever, it is no longer felt that the retention of these properties by
Guatemala, or their liquidation and sale, is necessary as a war meas-
ure. The United States will be pleased to see Guatemala take such
action in regard to the properties as would best conserve her own
economic interests.
In the event, however, that the Government of Guatemala intends
to follow the course announced by the previous administration and
to proceed with the sale of these properties, this Government would
be glad to enlist the interest of American investors with a view to
their acquiring a part or all of the properties in question.
17 Not printed.

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