William B. Hale to William Jennings Bryan
Dated Nov. 17, 1913.
Recd Nov. 18 , 9:00 a. m.November 17, 9 p. m.
Since the receipt of your instructions of this morning I have spent hours endeavoring to persuade Constitutionalists by every argument which I could bring to bear that their hope lay in accepting constitutional precesses. They do not swerve from their position that no triumph will be secure which is not secured by arms. They are unwilling to accept the idea of Provisional Government even though its personnel were believed by Washington to be unconnected and unsympathetic with Huerta or Huerta methods. They look upon themselves as a body of men inexperienced in public affairs, namely farmers, unsophisticated people of small ways of life, whom the past has taught, it is feared, the keener wits and extensive influence of the Scientifico class. The leaders here dwell on the statement that they would not be able to carry the people with them in any arrangement looking towards an interim Presidency. They hold they they must abide by the plan of Guadeloupe. This was a compact in which the military chiefs associated in it mutually pledged their honor to fight until complete victory were achieved, then to ientrust to one of their own number temporary authority under which he would, by a decree, enact social and political reforms which they agree upon as fundamental; then only to call general election which they guarantee to be free and fair; install as President the indicated choice of the people and to submit all the acts of the revolution to the Congress chosen at some election. Their model in this programme is the Mexican patriot Juarez. Their answer to your question as to their intention to give the people an early opportunity to elect President and Congress at free and fair election is an earnest affirmative and they further affirm that they will surrender the Government into hands of those selected by people at such election even though persons elected were not preferred by them.
I am still engaged with Constitutional leaders and shall be probably until late tonight.