724.3415/1816: Telegram

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

44. Your telegram No. 16, July 7, noon. I had anticipated its first instruction and urged moderation of the Government’s statements and attitude. In agreement with this the statement made public last night was restrained in tone, was designated merely as “information” and was given out by the Ministry of Interior instead of the Foreign Office.18 The popular feeling here today goes far to justify the President’s assertion that any lesser measure would have meant an immediate and serious attack on the Government. I saw Arbo an hour ago. He is most pessimistic as to the efforts of the neutrals. He has apparently come to the end of his patience with Bolivia and has no belief that the break can be patched up, though he assures me that he will be guided by the informal suggestions conveyed in your above telegram. I learn however that since his talk with me he has given a press interview in which he stated that on no condition would Paraguay’s delegation be permitted to linger in Washington or would Paraguay continue the conference.

I am confidentially and officially informed that the Government is in possession of absolute knowledge of the intended Bolivian campaign [Page 24] of which the recent incident is the first step and that an attack on a second fortín is daily looked for. It is currently believed that the Bolivian attack of June 15 was followed by a Paraguayan counterattack whose details have not yet reached here, but the War Office denies all knowledge of this.

  1. See Paraguay, Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Libro Blanco, I parte, 1933, p. 172.