The Minister in Switzerland (Wilson) to the Secretary of State
[Received 3:15 p.m.]
81. Reference letter from Francis White August 15—Bolivia-Paraguay. I had an informal and private conversation yesterday with Drummond following the suggestions of the latter [letter?]. As I terminated, Drummond said it was curious that I had brought up the question as he had been about to request me to call and talk about that very problem.
He had every desire both to avoid further complicating the present discussions in the League and to facilitate and aid the work of the Committee of Neutrals and as it appeared, of all the American states. Certainly anything that it might be necessary to do would be carried out in this spirit. The situation in South America had been giving him concern both because of its inherent possibilities and because it would jeopardize the Covenant and have a bad effect on the Manchurian discussions11 about to be renewed if the League appeared to disinterest itself completely in the South American problem. Also the Covenant of the League is the only treaty that binds both Governments since Bolivia is not bound by the Kellogg Pact.
Drummond had been considering whether the Council could not [Page 229] act in such a way as to avoid the reproach of indifference and at the same time strengthen your position in this matter and would be glad to hear what you would think of the following action which he says he can readily persuade the Council to undertake: As you know (Gilbert’s 238, September 12, 11 a.m.)12 Drummond telegraphed September 10 and has a reply from Paraguay (Gilbert’s 239, September 14)12 of which a portion reads as follows: “The Neutral Commission is continuing its mediation up [to] the present. Thus we have omitted having recourse to the League of Nations”. On the other hand Bolivia telegraphed the President of the Council December 18, 1928 in part as follows: “I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that, in accordance with the suggestions of the Council of the League of Nations, the Bolivian Government has just accepted the good offices offered by the Conference of Conciliation and Arbitration now in session at Washington.”
The Council could cable both parties pointing out obligations under the Covenant, the acceptance (or apparent acceptance) by both of mediation and urge strongly to confide the case to the Neutral Commission and abide by its recommendations and decisions. Please instruct.