823.00/291: Telegram

The Minister in Peru ( McMillin ) to the Secretary of State

Strictly confidential. Department’s August 5, 5 p.m.

1. My opinion expressed in Legation’s 366, July 14:9

“Leguia unquestionably has now and had at the time of elections a strong popular following. Whether this was sufficient to elect I do not know. He had absolute control over army. I am therefore [Page 733] of the opinion that he will be able to overcome any and all opposition that may arise against his rule for the present and near future. The same forces that aided him in taking the Government from Pardo will enable him to hold it, at least for the present now that Pardo is out of power and out of the Republic.”

Allied Ministers seem to be of this opinion. I believe that a majority of the people have acquiesced in overthrow [of] Pardo Government but not in calling new congressional elections. They do not see how same elective procedure could be regular as to the President of the Republic and irregular as to the Senators and Deputies when all were conducted at the same time and place and by same officers.

2. Impossible to obtain the exact figures of result of elections. The following data is the most accurate that the Legation [could obtain]. The officials of election board of Province of Lima returned 10,878 votes for Leguia and 3,185 for Aspillaga.10 Election board for Callao, 1,979 votes for Leguia and 330 for Aspillaga (see despatch No. 352 May 3111). After a careful search the following figures were obtained from the adherents of the respective candidates: twenty provinces, not including Lima and Callao, gave Aspillaga 93,800; twenty-eight towns and cities, not including Lima and Callao, gave Leguia 52,050. The returns for Leguia do not include cities in certain of his strongholds of the southern provinces. He claims to have received over 200,000 votes. Except for Lima and Callao the figures are merely claims on the part of adherents. In many of the provinces there were contests, both sides claiming victory and sending to the Supreme Court having jurisdiction of the matte? their respective contentions. The Supreme Court was engaged in deciding these contests but had not completed them at the time of the revolution, hence impossibility of giving complete and reliable figures. Elections generally passed off without disturbances.

3. All tangible evidence has been forwarded to the Department in Legation’s telegrams [omission] and despatches 366, July 14,11 and 371, July 30.11 The copies of the telegrams and letters brought to the attention of the Legation do not amount to proof but is evidence tending to show that efforts were being made to secure election of Government candidates. As to the attitude of the Government on the eve of elections, see Legation’s despatch No. 352, May 31, pages 3 and 4.11

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  2. Antero Aspíllaga.
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