724.3415/1711: Telegram

The Minister in Bolivia (Feely) to the Secretary of State

14. In reply to the Department’s circular telegram April 13, 6 p.m., the Minister for Foreign Affairs sent for me yesterday before this telegram had been decoded and asked that I use my influence to prevent what he termed the “intervention” of the four neighboring countries in the present negotiations explaining that he as well as the President feared that their participation in the negotiations could only redound to the prejudice of Bolivia’s interests. He explained further that Bolivia had no confidence in the sincerity of intentions of either Argentina or Chile.

He said that while the President was sincerely gratified at the manner in which the negotiations had been conducted thus far he would deeply regret the addition of the four neighboring countries and asked [Page 139] me again to assure my Government that Bolivia had no intention whatever of disturbing the peace of the continent and was only desirous of a peaceful solution.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs yesterday sent for the Brazilian and Chilean Ministers and is to see the Peruvian Minister and the Argentina Chargé today. In both these conversations he referred to the addition of the four countries as “intervention”.

Last night the Chief of the General Staff in reply to my inquiry explained that the reason for the Government’s attitude in respect to the intervention of the four countries was based on the knowledge that most of the reports of Bolivia’s alleged aggressive intentions originated either in Argentina or in the Argentina Legation here and as to Chile he informed me in the strictest confidence that the Chilean Minister had only a few days ago intimated to him that his Government would look with favor on a military alliance with Bolivia explaining that the political and economic situation in Chile was such that only a war could prevent a disaster.

There has been but little discussion in the press of the addition of the four countries and their diplomatic representatives have received no instructions.

I gathered from my conversation with the Minister for Foreign Affairs that neither he nor the President is hopeful of a successful outcome of the present negotiations.

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