File No. 722.2315/564a.
The Secretary of State to the Brazilian Embassy. 1
Washington , April 8, 1911 .
The Government of Ecuador having declined the counsel of the mediating powers that the Peru-Ecuador boundary dispute be referred for decision to The Hague, the Governments of Argentina and Brazil doubtless feel, as does the Government of the United States, the necessity of taking some further steps contributory to a final solution of the boundary differences existing, consulting, so far as possible, the respective desires of the Governments of Ecuador and Peru. This necessity has become the more apparent because of the unsettled conditions in the territories in dispute which have [Page 183] given rise to incidents such as that in the vicinity of Chacras and Pocitos and fears of possible aggression as to which both Governments have already made representations to the mediating powers. Regarding this incident the Government of the United States desires to know the opinion of the mediating powers as to whether it would not be well, in view of the foregoing, to recommend to the Governments of Ecuador and Peru that they express their mutual regret at this unfortunate occurrence, taking immediate steps to bring to justice the individuals responsible for the disturbance and proceeding without delay to adjudicate and pay such material damages as shall be found to have been inflicted upon their respective citizens, leaving the amount of such damages to be determined by arbitration in case difficulty is found in reaching an agreement as to such amount.
As to the nature of further steps looking to a solution of the boundary difficulty, the Government of the United States believes that the mediating powers might properly consider the advisability of suggesting to the Governments involved the wisdom of submitting their dispute for final settlement to the decision of amiables compositeurs, the mediating powers being ready, in this event, to tender their good offices toward facilitating the drafting of an equitable compromis acceptable to the two powers interested, which mode of decision closely approximates the arbitration at The Hague, which the mediating powers would have expected to be on a compromis of broad scope admittingevery consideration of equity and justice.
It occurs to the Government of the United States that the mediating powers might properly consider the advisability of inviting the Government of Colombia, in view of its claims to a portion of the region in dispute, to participate to a proper extent in further proceedings. Although it would seem that the claims of the Government of Colombia can not be precisely defined until after a settlement between the Governments of Ecuador and Peru, nevertheless, to obviate the possibility of a subsequent controversy between the Government of Colombia on the one hand and either that of Ecuador or of Peru on the other, it would appear wiser to determine all the rights of these three Governments at once.
The Government of Chile has officially informed the Government of the United States that in furtherance of the former counsel of the mediating powers it has most strongly urged upon the Government of Ecuador the reference of the boundary question to The Hague, thus confirming anew its oft asserted sincere disposition to cooperate effectively with the mediating powers. Accordingly, it may seem well to the Governments of Argentina and Brazil, as it does to the Government of the United States, to invite the Government of Chile to make further use of its influence near the Governments of Ecuador and Colombia in favor of the success of whatever steps it may now be decided to take toward a solution of this difficulty. Should even this course fail, it would seem that the point will then have been reached when the mediating powers might suggest some line to be respected as a status quo by the Governments of Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, until a permanent solution of the boundary dispute satisfactory to all parties should be found. In case of such arrangement and the adoption of the necessary modus [Page 184] vivendi, the mediating powers could lend their good offices to facilitate the framing, in the event of ultimate arbitration, of an equitable compromis.
The Government of the United States would be happy to learn the views of the Governments of Argentina and Brazil touching the foregoing considerations.
- Same to the Argentine legation, and by telegram on same date to the American minister to Argentina, with instructions to repeat it to the American ambassador to Brazil.↩