724.3415/1817: Telegram

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

46. Your telegram No. 17, July 7, 6 p.m. This morning I discussed at length with Arbo the points of your telegram and again most strongly urged further consideration suggesting that the withdrawal the delegates, even if Paraguay felt bound to consider this a fait accompli, could readily be announced to be not a final cessation but a temporary suspension of their pact conversations pending examination and adjudication of the Fortín incident. I advised, as I had done in my conversation with the President on July 6, the forwarding of all facts and details for consideration of the neutrals. Arbo told me that recently there have been six instances, which have not been divulged, wherein Bolivian cavalry have driven Paraguayan outposts from their positions and have then retired to their own lines.

Following our conversation he went to consult the President. He promises to give me the Government’s conclusion on July 12th, the [Page 26] delay presumably being due to the necessity of a Cabinet meeting. I am not sanguine of the result.

Since the recent Bolivian concentration at Villa Montes pessimism as to Bolivia’s intentions has been growing and there has been also an increasing dissatisfaction with the part played in the conference by the other neutrals who are considered to be lacking in interest and effort.

The press here today unanimously approves the action. Interviews with President-elect Ayala in Buenos Aires telegraphed here report his approval. His relations with the present Government however would seem to dictate such a public attitude.