723.2515/2729: Circular telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Argentina ( Jay ), the Ambassador in Brazil ( Morgan ), and the Minister in Uruguay ( Grant-Smith )

I have received from the Bolivian Government a reply, dated December 2, to my proposal for the settlement of the Tacna-Arica question in which Bolivia accepts fully the form of solution proposed. I am further in receipt of a reply from the Chilean Government to my Memorandum above-mentioned, dated December 4, in which Chile accepts in principle the proposal. The press in the United States has practically unanimously supported the proposal and urges acceptance by all parties as means of settling this long lasting dispute and insuring the peace of South America. South American press also in general very favorable to proposal and most papers in countries not parties to dispute urge acceptance.

[Paraphrase.] I have not yet received a reply from Peru, merely a memorandum on December 351 requesting information on whether the proposal contains a provision providing for an election whereby will of inhabitants of the territory will be determined. I have not yet replied to this memorandum, but I intend to inform the Peruvian Government tomorrow that I consider the terms of the proposal to be so clear and precise that no further explanation is necessary.

In view of earnest desire of this Government to see peace and harmony established in the southern continent, it is felt that the present is an appropriate moment to inform the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Government to which you are accredited of the facts given above.

[Page 517]

From unofficial sources it appears that certain elements in Lima are condemning the proposal and that belief exists in some quarters that Peru will reject it. In order to avoid Peru’s rejection, it is felt that immediate steps should be taken by Governments of Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay to urge acceptance by Peru before that Government definitely commits itself.

I am relying on you to make clear to Minister for Foreign Affairs of country to which you are accredited that although I do not feel that I may, with propriety, urge or request his Government to take any action, any step that it might see fit to take to bring about Peru’s acceptance in obvious interest of continental solidarity and of lasting South American peace would be agreeable to me.

This cable is being sent to the American Embassies in Argentina and Brazil and the Legation in Uruguay. You are instructed to cable at once the result of your interview, and to inform us what steps the Government to which you are accredited will take. [End paraphrase.]

  1. Quoted in memorandum, Dec. 11, to the Peruvian Ambassador, p. 518.