724.3415/1803: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Paraguay (Wheeler)

15. As you know, there is divergence of views between the Foreign Office and the Paraguayan Delegation regarding the pact of non-aggression. Department understands that Minister for Foreign Affairs considers the Paraguayan Government bound by the memorandum enclosed in your despatch No. 445 of June 2 and that this may prevent the Paraguayan Government from modifying its instructions to the delegation permitting it to agree to the draft pact of non-aggression. It has been suggested to the Department that it request the Minister of Foreign Affairs to withdraw the memorandum in question. As you stated that this memorandum had been given to the representatives in Asunción of the Neutral Governments, as well as to the Brazilian and Argentine Ministers, the Department is inclined to feel that such a request might be embarrassing to the Paraguayan Government. It is however important that the Paraguayan Government should not feel that it is so bound by the views expressed in that memorandum that it can not modify them. The Department therefore desires you to take the earliest possible opportunity, without divulging any of the foregoing, to say discreetly to the Minister for Foreign Affairs that as no proposal was made by the Neutrals to either Paraguay or Bolivia, the draft pact having been sent by each delegation to its own Government on the basis of the oral discussions, this Government has looked upon the memorandum merely as the preliminary views of the Paraguayan Government when the draft pact was first received. The two Governments having agreed upon oral negotiations and no project having been given by the Neutrals to the two delegations, no written reply to the Neutrals is expected. It is understood that the considered views of both Governments will be communicated by each delegation to the other at the next meeting to be held shortly in Washington. This Government therefore looked [Page 20] upon the memorandum of June 1st merely as a courtesy on the part of the Paraguayan Government and as a sign of confidence on its part in this and the other Governments in advising them in advance of its preliminary views regarding the draft pact. You may say it is your own view that while this preliminary study apparently did not agree with all the points in the draft pact, you nevertheless hope that a further study, after an exchange of views with those concerned, may have led the Government to consider the pact more favorably so that when the views of the Paraguayan Government are finally expressed by the Paraguayan delegation in Washington you venture to hope that they will be found to be favorable to the pact.

Of course what you say should not be in the nature of representations but rather as divulging in casual conversation with the Minister for Foreign Affairs your and the Department’s views in the matter. Please cable the result of your conversation.