The Chargé in Bolivia (Barker) to the Secretary of State

No. 596

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s instruction No. 136, dated October 13, 1924,66 with regard to the possibility of American arbitration of the Bolivian-Paraguayan boundary dispute. I am informed by Dr. Germán Costas R., Acting Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, that since the departure last September of Doctor Guggiari, former Paraguayan Minister to Bolivia, there have been no further negotiations of any importance in connection with the boundary dispute between Bolivia and Paraguay. It is expected, however, that with the arrival of Señor Deconel, the newly appointed Paraguayan Minister to Bolivia, Chile and Peru, negotiations will again enter upon an active phase.

Doctor Costas today repeated to me his previous statement, reported in the Legation’s Report No. 30, dated August 19, 1924,67 that Bolivia is desirous of having the United States chosen as arbitrator of the boundary dispute and that his Government has approached the Paraguayan Government in this sense. The Government of Paraguay has intimated to the Bolivian Government that [Page 287] it also desires the selection of the United States as arbitrator. The divergence in the views of the two Governments on this boundaryquestion which still exists has no connection with the choice of the arbitrator, Doctor Costas states, but is a question of what matters the arbitrator shall be called upon to decide and the form in which the protocol of arbitration is to be drawn up.

I may add that there is at present no evidence of any intention on the part of the Foreign Office here to recede from its previous uncompromising position, which would reduce Paraguayan claims to be arbitrated to territory which has long been in the full military and economic control of the latter.

I have [etc.]

W. Roswell Barker
  1. Not printed; see instruction no. 258, Oct. 13, to the Chargé in Paraguay, supra.
  2. Not printed.