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There are attached to this report copies of all communications, documents, reports, or agreements relating to the landing or maintenance of United States marines in Nicaragua since the present administration took office. These form Exhibits A to S.
NOTES, COMMUNICATIONS, OR AGREEMENTS, OR COPIES THEREOF
BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENTS OF THE UNITED STATES AND NICARAGUA CONCERNING THE ELECTIONS TO BE HELD IN NICARAGUA
The long-sustained condition of disastrous civil war taking place in Nicaragua in 1926 and the early part of 1927 induced this Government to send former Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson, to Nicaragua for the purpose of examining into the entire situation. Mr. Stimson, upon his arrival in Nicaragua, conferred with all parties concerned in the civil strife. After repeated discussion with the members of both parties, President Diaz, on April 22, placed in Mr. Stimson's hands a signed outline of the terms of peace to which he would agree, as follows:
(1) Immediate general peace in time for the new crop and delivery of arms simultaneously by both parties into American custody.
(2) General amnesty and return of exiles and return of confiscated property.
(3) Participation in Diaz's cabinet by representative Liberals. (4) Organization of a Nicaraguan constabulary on a nonpartisan basis to be commanded by American officers.
(5) Supervision of elections in 1928 and succeeding years by Americans who will have ample police power to make such supervision effective.
(6) Continuance temporarily of sufficient force of marines to make foregoing effective for period thereafter.
These peace offers by President Diaz materialized in the so-called Tipitapa agreements, set forth in Exhibits 1 to 4 to this communication.
Shortly after the suspension of civil strife which followed the consummation of the Tipitapa agreements, President Diaz addressed a communication to President Coolidge on May 15, 1927, pointing out the steps which the Government of Nicaragua considered desirable and appropriate in order that the elections might be supervised by the United States. This letter and its enclosure are attached hereto as Exhibit 5.
On June 10, 1927, President Coolidge replied and his note forms Exhibit 6.
In order to carry out the terms made with the Nicaraguan Government and the Liberal Party in Nicaragua as set forth above, it was deemed necessary to establish a commission to supervise the 1928 presidential elections and that the chairman of this commission should be an American nominated by the President of the United States and appointed by the President of Nicaragua. The President nominated Gen. Frank R. McCoy for this position. Under his supervision the electoral machinery was revised, the registration of voters effected, and the elections were held in November, 1928, which resulted in the election of Gen. José Maria Moncada. The elections were conceded by all parties in Nicaragua as being unquestionably free and fair..
Prior to the holding of the elections the two opposing candidates, Gen. José Maria Moncada, of the Liberal Party, and Señor Don Adolfo Benard, of the Conservative Party, exchanged communications whereby they mutually pledged themselves that whichever party should be victorious, the cooperation of the United States Government in the supervision of the next elections in the same manner provided by the Tipitapa agreements would be requested. Copies of these communications will be found attached hereto as Exhibits 7 and 8.
Shortly after his inauguration on January 1, 1929, President Moncada informed the American minister of his intention to ask this Government to designate an American who, upon appointment by the Supreme Court of Nicaragua, should serve permanently as chairman of the Nicaraguan National Board of Elections, in preparation for probable American participation or control over the national elections in 1932. This informal conversation was supplemented by a formal note to the American legation from the Nicaraguan Minister of Foreign Affairs dated February 12, 1929, which is attached hereto as Exhibit 9.
In response to this communication the department informed President Moncada that before reaching a definite decision it desired more complete information regarding the facilities which would be accorded the American chairman of the national board of elections, and pointing out that it would be necessary that the existing electoral law should be amended in certain particulars. President Moncada indicated his concurrence in the department's views. Copies of the communications exchanged to this effect are attached hereto as Exhibits 10 and 11.
In compliance witn President Moncada's request for the assistance of the Government of the United States in the conduct of Nicaraguan elections, as set forth in the note of February 12, 1929, and in view of the disinclination of leaders of the Conservative Party to participate in the very important congressional elections to be held in 1930 unless those elections should be supervised by the United States, the President in May, 1930, designated Capt. Alfred Wilkinson Johnson, United States Navy, for appointment by the Nicaraguan Supreme Court as president of the national board of elections.
Captain Johnson proceeded shortly thereafter to Nicaragua, and the elections were held on November 2, 1930. These elections also were recognized by all parties in Nicaragua as being freely and fairly conducted. In this connection the department's telegram No. 39, of May 8, 1930, 7 p. m., is attached hereto as Exhibit 12.
NOTES, COMMUNICATIONS, AND AGREEMENTS BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENTS OF THE UNITED STATES AND NICARAGUA CONCERNING THE FORMATION AND TRAINING OF THE CONSTABULARY OR NATIVE POLICE OF NICARAGUA; THE DUTIES TO BE PERFORMED BY SAID CONSTABULARY AND BY THE UNITED STATES MARINES; THE MODE OF COMPENSATING SAID CONSTABULARY AND THE AMOUNT THEREOF
One of the principal terms of the peace agreed to between the Nicaraguan Government (Conservatives) and the opposition (Liberals) proposed by President Diaz in April, 1927, was "the organization of a Nicaraguan constabulary on a nonpartisan basis, commanded by American officers." This matter was also covered in
the Tipitapa agreements mentioned above and in President Diaz's letter to President Coolidge of May 15, 1927, likewise referred to above.
In May, 1927, President Diaz requested the appointment of an American officer to instruct and command the Nicaraguan constabulary. This was immediately agreed to by President Coolidge. Correspondence regarding this matter is attached hereto as Exhibits 13, 14, 15, and 16.
On May 12, 1927, a colonel of the Marine Corps was appointed as director in chief of the Nicaraguan National Guard. The work of organization, enlistment, and training immediately began. The Guardia Nacional de Nicaragua as it exists to-day was developed during the following months. By August, 1927, the first newly trained detachment of the Nicaraguan constabulary entered upon active duties outside of Managua.
The terms of an agreement for the establishment and maintenance of the Guardia Nacional de Nicaragua were drawn up and the agreement was signed at Managua on December 22, 1927, by the American chargé d'affaires at Managua and the Nicaraguan minister of foreign affairs. It provided for:
(1) The creation of a Guardia Nacional of 93 officers and 1,136 enlisted men, or a total of 1,229 officers and men at a cost of $689,132 per annum.
(2) The guardia to be considered the sole military and police force of the Republic and to have control of arms, ammunition and military supplies, forts, prisons, etc., throughout the Republic, subject only to the direction of the President of Nicaragua.
A copy of this agreement is attached to this report as Exhibit 18. This agreement was approved by the Nicaraguan Senate on January 10, 1928. The Chamber of Deputies, however, delayed approval of the bill for more than a year. The agreement was finally amended and passed by both Houses of the Nicaraguan Congress on February 19, 1929, and was approved by President Moncada. The alterations do not affect the number of officers or men nor the expenses of the guardia, but have to do with certain matters of administration, and these alterations have not been accepted by the Department of State.
In order to cope with the bandit situation existing principally in the north central portion of Nicaragua and in the provinces of Nueva Segovia, Esteli, Jinotega, and Matagalpa, the Guardia Nacional was increased by the Nicaraguan Government above the total personnel of 1,229 officers and enlisted men, mentioned in the agreement of December 22, 1927, until, with the addition of 200 men especially enlisted for a short period, the guardia, in October, 1930, included total personnel numbering 2,459, an increase of 100 per cent over the number envisioned in the original agreement. Furthermore, the total annual cost of the guardia, in view of this expansion in numbers, grew to a total of $1,116,000.
In view of the economic depression through which Nicaragua is at present passing and the resulting decrease in Governmental revenues, the Government of Nicaragua has expressed the desire to cut down the cost of the guardia.
Besides other steps of retrenchment, the Nicaraguan Government in July, 1930, reduced the salaries actually paid to all Governmental
employees in an ascending scale from 5 per cent on salaries of $20 or less to 20 per cent on salaries of $100 or more. The Nicaraguan Government desired to extend this reduction to officers of the guardia. This Government could not consent to a reduction in the salaries of officers who had gone to Nicaragua on the basis of a stipulated salary but did consent on November 24, 1930, to a reduction in the pay of officers joining the guardia in the future. The reduced scale is as follows:
At the same time the department consented that the Nicaraguan Government might reduce the total number of officers and enlisted men in the guardia to 1,810 (160 officers and 1,650 enlisted men) at a total cost of $854,652. Both figures are well in excess of those provided by the agreement of 1927. At the same time the department stated that it could consent to no reduction whatsoever in the personnel of 1,000 enlisted men and 72 officers of the guardia serving in the bandit-infested region. All reductions in personnel were to be made in the forces policing the tranquil portions of the country. The figures given above may be summarized as follows:
A copy, in translation, of President Moncada's letter to General McDougal setting forth the above understanding is attached hereto as Exhibit 17.
Since the regrettable killing of eight marines at the first of the year, President Moncada took the initiative to raise additional funds to permit an increase in the guardia in the bandit infested area and also, among other things, for road construction work in the same section in order to help military operations. As a result, he has obtained an advance of approximately $1,000,000 to increase the guardia by approximately 500 men. He has agreed to contribute an extra $15,000 per month to the guardia for the maintenance of the additional 500 men, plus an initial contribution of $20,000 for their equipment. Moreover, he has agreed go increase by $2,000 per month the funds supplied for the expenses of the training school for native officers in the guardia. With this expansion it should be possible to train and prepare sufficient Nicaraguan officers in order that all American officers in the guardia may be completely replaced by Nicaraguan officers after the Nicaraguan elections of 1932.
As a further military measure, President Moncada has stated his intention of devoting approximately $13,000 per month for road building in the Segovias (the bandit area), to support and carry out the operations against the bandits, to furnish employement for the population in that area, and to furnish an outlet for the economic development thereof.
This arrangement also contemplates that the guardia will have taken over the situation in the bandit areas by June 1, 1931, and that the present detachments of approximately 600 marines stationed outside of Managua, principally at Ocotal and Matagalpa, will have been withdrawn and their function taken over by the new force of the guardia by that date. Preparations are being made so that all the marines, including those serving as officers in the guardia, may be withdrawn from Nicaragua after the elections of 1932.
Telegram from the American Minister, Managua, Nicaragua, to the Secretary of State
MARCH 17, 1929-10 A. M.
Brigade headquarters reports that on March 14 marine patrol encountered a group of bandits at Department of Chinandega, two miles west of San Juan de Limay. One bandit killed. One bandit killed. On March 15th combined marine and voluntario force encountered bandits in the same vicinity killing four and capturing three. No marine or voluntario casualties. Marines believe that bandits constituted Salgado's main group and that they crossed into Honduras about March 16th. Repeated to Tegucigalpa.
Telegram from the American Minister, Managua, Nicaragua, to the Secretary of State
APRIL 8, 1929-11 A. M.
The Legation has been informed that the United Press on April 6th misquoted President Moncada as requesting withdrawal of marines and stating that his Government has not requested American assistance.
In this connection President Moncada has to-day issued the following statement to the press:
I have been informed that following an interview on April 6th with American newspaper men I was quoted as having asked for the withdrawal of the American marines from Nicaragua with the exception of a few officers needed to train the Guardia; and that I was further quoted as having said that my Government had never requested aid from the United States.
The above quotations are not strictly accurate. During the interview referred to I spoke of the excellent work being done by General Douglas C. McDougal as Chief of the Guardia Nacional and expressed my hope in that connection that the Guardia with American officers would be before very long strong enough to permit the withdrawal of the main body of marines. That, I understand, is the hope of the American Government as well as of my own.