File No. 723.2515/137.

The American Chargé d’Affaires at Santiago to the Secretary of State.

No. 71.]

Sir: By my cable of the 20th instant the Department was informed that the Peruvian Legation in Santiago has been withdrawn on account of the violent attitude of Chile toward Peruvians in Tacna and Arica, the expulsion of the Peruvian priests, and the futility of all efforts on the part of the Legation to cause the Government of Chile to heed the desires of Peru. * * *

Though the causes mentioned are the ones advanced by Peru for withdrawing its Legation I am led by the Peruvian Chargé d’Affaires, Señor Arturo García Salazar, to understand that the expulsion of the curates is regarded as the climax of a series of events, namely the expulsion from Tacna and Arica of Peruvian freight-handlers and laborers and the sending of arms to Ecuador, all of which are considered by Peru as evidence that Chile intends simply to disregard Peruvian protests and that a Legation here is of absolutely no account as regards the policy and actions of Chile. Rather than to continue to protest in vain, Peru has found it more dignified simply to withdraw; at least such is the opinion of Señor García.

Obedient to your telegram of this morning, I have communicated to Señor García the fact that I am authorized to accept the custody of the archives of the Peruvian Legation as requested by him, and I have received from him two cases said to contain the said archives.

It appears that shortly before the withdrawal of the Legation the Government of Peru received a note from the Chilean Government [Page 1182] suggesting the basis for holding plebiscite.1 This proposal differed from former ones only in that the plebiscite should be supervised by one Chilean, one Peruvian, and a third individual to be chosen by the Foreign Consular Corps resident in Tacna, but it specified a residence of only six months, the plebiscite to be held six months from the ratification of the protocol providing therefor.

The Government of Peru has not yet replied to this proposal though the Chilean newspapers state that the withdrawal of the Legation is Peru’s answer.

I have [etc.]

Seth L. Pierrepont.
  1. This note is printed as Inclosure 2 to Mr. Pierrepont’s No. 74 of April 5, post.