724.3415/1815 ½

Minutes of Meeting of July 30, 1932, Between Representatives of the Neutral Countries and Representatives of Countries Neighboring on Bolivia and Paraguay 24

The representatives of the United States of America, Colombia, Cuba and Mexico, Messrs. Francis White, Fabio Lozano T., José T. Baron, [Page 155] and P. Herrera de Huerta, comprising, with the Uruguayan representative, the Neutral Commission which has been acting, through the exercise of good offices, in the controversy over the Chaco between Bolivia and Paraguay, met in Mr. White’s office in the Department of State on July 30. In view of the interest which has been taken in this controversy by the Governments of Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru, the countries which border on Bolivia and Paraguay, the neutral representatives invited the representatives of those countries to meet with them. Among the neutral representatives, the representative of Uruguay was absent, and of the neighboring countries, the representative of Brazil was absent. Mr. Felipe Espil, Argentine Ambassador, Mr. Miguel Cruchaga, Chilean Ambassador, and Mr. Juan Mendoza, First Secretary of the Peruvian Embassy, represented their respective Governments.

Mr. White, Chairman of the Commission, advised those present of the situation at that time as shown by telegrams received since the meeting of the day before.

The Argentine Ambassador said that he was instructed by his Government to suggest to the neutral representatives the desirability of asking all the nations of America to join them in a statement setting forth their opposition to war and calling on Bolivia and Paraguay to desist at once from any warlike moves. The neutral representatives stated that they had been considering asking the American nations to join with them; that they thought the time had now come to do so, and that they were therefore in favor of Mr. Espil’s suggestion. It was agreed that a message to the countries of America, giving them the text of the representations which they would be asked to join in making to Bolivia and Paraguay, should be drawn up, and Mr. White was asked to make such a draft.

An adjournment was taken for luncheon and for this draft to be prepared.

The draft was considered immediately upon the reconvening of the meeting in the afternoon. The Ambassador of Chile suggested the insertion of two paragraphs which might offer a way out for the two contending parties by requesting them to submit to the Neutral Commission all documentation which they might consider pertinent regarding incidents which have occurred since June 15 in order that the Commission might examine them, and a statement to the effect that they did not doubt that the country which was shown to be the aggressor would wish to give satisfaction to the country attacked. [Page 156] Ambassador Cruchaga further suggested that the two Governments be invited to make a solemn declaration to the effect that they would stop the movement of troops in the disputed territory in order to clear up the atmosphere and pave the way for the solution of good understanding which the countries of America hope for in the name of the permanent interests of all the countries of this hemisphere.

This suggestion was accepted by all and two paragraphs containing these suggestions were inserted in the draft telegram. Certain verbal changes were suggested in the draft proposed by Mr. White. It was furthermore agreed that the Neutrals would send forward a telegram to the other countries of America as soon as certain of them, who felt that they should consult their Government, had been authorized to do so, and as soon as they heard that the four neighboring countries were in agreement. The Argentine, Chilean and Peruvian representatives present were asked to consult their Governments on this point and, in the absence of a representative of Brazil, the members of the Neutral Commission asked Mr. White, on their behalf, to transmit the text to the Brazilian Government through the American Chargé d’Affaires at Bio de Janeiro. The telegram agreed to, and which was finally despatched to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the other ten countries of America on Tuesday morning, August 2, after it had been accepted by all the neutral countries and by the Governments of the four countries neighboring on Bolivia and Paraguay, reads as follows:25

  1. These minutes were evidently written at a later date since they contain reference to action taken on August 2.
  2. End of minutes; dictated by Francis White but no signature on file copy.