721.2315/303: Telegram

The Ambassador in Peru (Poindexter) to the Secretary of State


66. In accordance with the terms of the procès-verbal, the President has recommended to Congress the approval of the boundary treaty with Colombia.

On repeated occasions I have interviewed the President to urge favorable action in this matter. He has assured me on various occasions that he would do everything he could to obtain favorable action from the Congress, but he also stated that as the attitude of that body was hostile he was not sure that, in spite of his efforts, he would be able to bring about favorable action. … The bitter opposition to the treaty existing in the Department of Loreto also constitutes a serious obstacle to ratification. I have suggested to the Colombian Minister and the Peruvian Government, as well as to interested parties, that a settlement for rights claimed in the disputed area be made in return for withdrawal of opposition to the treaty, but nothing has yet been done in that regard. Congressional opinion seems to be, as nearly as I can ascertain it, that Congress will not ratify the treaty; it has not been in session since April 3, and no further action is possible until it reconvenes, which it may do the last of July. The Colombian Minister here agrees with me that it is inadvisable to press the matter until Congress is in session. If, however, the Department instructs that further representations be made immediately on the subject to the [Page 536] President I shall be glad to do so. Please advise. I have also urged ratification of the treaty upon the Minister for Foreign Affairs, who has been noncommittal in his conversations with me. Now that Alberto Salomón, the former Foreign Minister who negotiated the treaty, is in Washington, some representations might be made through him as he is still influential with President Leguía. Day before yesterday I sent the Department copy of a memorandum left with the press by the Ecuadorian Minister, and with it copy of a counter memorandum in reply made at my request by the Colombian Minister.65

  1. Memorandum and counter memorandum not printed.