File No. 723.2515/142.
The American Ambassador to Brazil to the Secretary of State.
Petropolis , March 31, 1910.
Sir: I have the honor to report that in pursuance of your telegram of the 24th instant I at once repeated or caused to be repeated to our Legations at Buenos Aires, Santiago, Lima and Quito for their confidential information my telegram to the Department of the 17th and the Department’s telegraphic reply of the 24th instant, relating to the Tacna-Arica question between Chile and Peru.
In conversation with Baron do Rio Branco on the 28th instant this subject was reverted to and I advised him with reference to his suggestion made to Chile—that the Governments of Chile and Peru submit their question to those of Brazil, Argentina and the United States—of the readiness of the Government of the United States, in case the plan were acceptable to Chile and Peru, to respond to their request by contributing so far as possible to a solution of the difficulty.
The Baron then informed me confidentially that his overtures had so far resulted in failure, the Chilean Government declining to consider his proposal or anything savoring of arbitration. He had then proposed that the three countries be asked as amiables compositeurs to determine solely a proper division of the provinces between the contestants, but this suggestion also was rejected. The only concession Chile was willing to make was to authorize the Brazilian Government to offer Peru clear title to the Province of Talara, an interior and valueless strip claimed to have been turned over to Chile along with Tacna and Arica at the end of the war—a fact denied by Peru. This offer, as a settlement of the long-standing question, was so manifestly unentitled to serious consideration that it will not be officially communicated to Peru by this Government.
I have [etc.]