Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State (White)

The Uruguayan Minister, Mr. Varela, called me up and read me the text of a note he had received from the Peruvian Ambassador, addressed to him as the senior American diplomatic officer in Washington, and hence Chairman of the Investigation Committee set up by the Gondra Treaty.12 The note refers to Article I of the Convention on Conciliation signed February [January] 5, 1929,13 and Article III of the Gondra Treaty, and asks the Committee to take up conciliation of the Leticia difference between Peru and Colombia. The Minister said that the note seemed vague and not very explicit as to whether the Commission was to investigate the happenings at Leticia or to try to conciliate the parties. The Minister thought that a request to conciliate the parties is reasonable and he hoped that Colombia would not refuse that suggestion. He said that he could readily understand that Colombia might refuse an investigation, considering the matter an internal one. He thought they ought not to refuse an attempt to conciliate the two countries.

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Mr. Varela asked me to give him from time to time any suggestions or recommendations which might occur to me and said that he would be glad to have them. I, in turn, told the Minister that if there was anything that he would like us to do to be helpful at any time, if he would call on us, I, personally, and the Department would be glad to do anything possible to be of assistance.

Mr. Varela added that the Peruvian Ambassador’s note stated that Peru has appointed as its representative before the Permanent Committee in Washington Mr. Victor M. Maúrtua of Peru and Mr. Raúl Fernandes of Brazil.

F[rancis] W[hite]