723.2515/1935: Telegram

The Consul at Arica (Von Tresckow) to the Secretary of State


From Lassiter.

Yesterday the Commission finally voted to promulgate the registration and election regulations, and they are promulgated as of that date. There is disagreement about certain instructions on registration blanks, but it will probably be settled soon. The greater part of the necessary printing will be begun at La Paz immediately; and we hope that it will be completed by end of the month, and that all election paraphernalia will also be on hand.
Mr. Edwards departed yesterday and his legal adviser, Mr. Samuel Claro, has assumed duties of Chilean Commissioner. I had a long talk with both gentlemen in which both strongly protested that conditions are going to be such as to permit a fair plebiscite.
The Peruvian Commissioner called on me yesterday and showed me a cable message received from his Government, substance of which was that it appeared Peru was now being hurried into the plebiscite with undue rapidity, that suitable postponement should be granted, and that if it were not granted then Peruvian Government would have to consider what action to take. I told Mr. Freyre that I had made careful analysis of situation and that after a full study of the matter I was prepared to agree to postponement until March 15. I explained that full month would thus be given for registration which would certainly be ample time for preparation and for registration of all personnel. We went over matter thoroughly and Mr. Freyre said he would report to Peruvian Government. He intimated his fear that Peru might withdraw. I am informed that Peru has not been at all active in making preparations and is not very energetic in pushing ahead. It must be recognized, however, that conditions make work uncertain and that no chance should be given for reasonably asserting that there is undue haste.
I talked with Mr. Edwards on matter of postponement but he declined to concur and at meeting of the Commission he refrained from voting on resolution for postponement until March 15; the motion was carried, however.
The two questions we now face are what action Peru will take and whether Chilean authorities will really bring about conditions more favorable to fair plebiscite. Lassiter.
Von Tresckow