724.3415/1016b: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in Uruguay ( Gade )

11. The Bolivian Government’s answer to the neutral Governments’ note of January 9, was handed to Chargé d’Affaires at La Paz on the 25th ultimo.42 The second paragraph reads as follows:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Then follows a résumé of the events from December 28, to date [Page 319] including the incident of January 16, last,43 and Bolivia’s reasons why it cannot accept the so-called double arbitration. It reiterates Bolivia’s adherence to the principle of arbitration and its willingness to arbitrate the present dispute once the extent of the territory to be submitted to the arbitrator is agreed upon. Note terminates with following paragraph:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

You will note that this reply is favorable to a discussion of the matter between Bolivian and Paraguayan representatives in Washington as soon as the conciliation agreement of September 12, is carried out. It is the Department’s understanding that the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Paraguay suggested to Sampognaro, the Uruguayan agent, that a protocol be signed in Montevideo which will be limited merely to designating the Uruguayan officers and the date of their departure for Boquerón and Vanguardia and will mention the commission’s object quoting clause 5 of the Resolution of Conciliation of September 12. In proposing this statement to Sampognaro the Minister for Foreign Affairs for Paraguay stated that, “If the Uruguayan Government wishes the protocol to lay down in detail the procedure of the execution of the obligations, although this is unnecessary, the Paraguayan Government will be obliged to insist on its previous formula whereby on the day the work commences at Fort Vanguardia Bolivia will abandon Boqueron which will not be occupied by Paraguay until the work at Vanguardia terminates. The Uruguayan Government has those to choose from.” The Department understands that Sampognaro expressed his preference for the former. Department feels that through the first proposal Paraguay in effect puts the matter back in the hands of Uruguay and thereby tacitly consents to have Uruguay proceed on the basis of the Uruguayan formula. The Conciliation Agreement of September 12, gave full latitude to Uruguay as to the manner of its execution. This freedom of action was somewhat trammelled by the recent negotiations but now that Paraguay accepts in its first formula to return to the exact wording of the Conciliation Agreement Department feels that a way out of the difficulty is now offered through the acceptance of the Paraguayan suggestion, which it presumes is acceptable to Bolivian representative in Montevideo as it is nothing more than a return to the Conciliation Agreement and that if the proposed protocol is promptly signed in Montevideo the Uruguayan Government could then proceed to send its officers to Boqueron and Vanguardia and carry out the provisions of the Conciliation Agreement through the repair of Vanguardia and the return of that Fort and Fort Boqueron to Bolivia and Paraguay respectively.

[Page 320]

By this action Uruguay would contribute greatly to the establishment of permanent peace between the two countries by removing this obstacle to the discussion of the settlement of fundamental question at issue between Bolivia and Paraguay.

Please discuss the matter in this sense with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Uruguay and report the results.

  1. See telegram No. 16, February 27, 5 p.m., from the Chargé in Bolivia, p. 338.
  2. See telegram No. 3, January 24 noon, from the Chargé in Bolivia, p. 330.