The Minister in Switzerland (Wilson) to the Assistant Secretary of State (White)

Dear Francis : Many thanks for your letters regarding the Chaco dispute. They were most helpful in conversations with Drummond and De Valera. The information which they contained, together with what you sent me in telegrams, headed off, I think, an endeavor by the Council to take direct jurisdiction in this matter and thereby cross wires with the work of the Neutral Commission.

As you know, the Council will meet on November 14th to take up the Lytton Report.23 There will undoubtedly be certain other items on the agenda and in all probability it will give consideration to the status of the Chaco dispute. You are probably aware of the fact that during the past year a number of the small states have been feeling their oats and insisting on a rigid application of the terms of the Covenant, having been frightened by what they consider the laxity of the great states in dealing with the Manchurian problem. It is well on the cards that this feeling will inspire the representatives of these states to try and force the Council to take action itself if real progress has not been made in the solution of the dispute between Paraguay and Bolivia.

Having watched this show for years I am not inclined to be a prophet and therefore won’t say what they will do, but I think you should have your mind prepared for some such action and endeavor in the meantime to concentrate all possible pressure on Paraguay and Bolivia in order to satisfy the Council that this matter is really reaching a solution. I know you are doing this already; nevertheless I do think there is real reason to expect that they will take action themselves in the next session if they are not satisfied.

Very sincerely yours,

Hugh R. Wilson
  1. League of Nations, Appeal by the Chinese Government, Report of the Commission of Inquiry (Geneva, October 1, 1932).