724.3415/1909: Telegram

The Consul at Geneva (Gilbert) to the Secretary of State

225. The European press this morning stated that the President of the Council88 had despatched telegrams to the Governments of Bolivia and Paraguay in the matter of the Bolivian-Paraguayan dispute, the statements conveying the intimation that the Council had “intervened”.

I learned from the Acting Secretary General (Sugimura) that the foregoing is not precisely the case. I find, however, that beginning with the date July 21 certain correspondence has taken place between the League and the two Governments parties to the dispute. This correspondence consists in the order of the dates:

Letter from the Bolivian delegate89 to the Secretary General citing certain acts of military aggression. “This letter was transmitted to the delegate of Paraguay”;90
Letter from the delegate of Paraguay denying the allegations of Bolivia and making counter charges;
Letter from the President of the Council to the Secretary General deploring the situation and expressing the hope that the efforts being made by American states to settle the matter may be successful and requesting the two Governments to assist these efforts (this letter the Acting Secretary General has forwarded to the delegates of Bolivia and Paraguay and it is understood that they are telegraphing it to their Governments);
A letter from the representative of Paraguay citing further aggressive acts on the part of Bolivia.

No action has yet been taken either through an “appeal” by Bolivia or Paraguay or by “request” by state member of the League whereby the Council is yet “seized” of this matter.

This entire exchange of correspondence has been strictly confidential and made available only to members of the Council. The League policy in this is not to intervene or to take steps which might interfere with measures already being taken by American states.

The Acting Secretary General stated to me informally that he would appreciate any information on the matter which the United States Government might desire to furnish.

I am mailing today the correspondence cited and I would appreciate instructions as to whether texts of this or further pertinent correspondence are desired by telegraph.

  1. José Matos, Guatemalan representative on the League of Nations Council and President in office of the Council.
  2. A. Costa du Rels.
  3. R. V. Caballero de Bedoya.