Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State (White)

The Venezuelan Minister15 called and we discussed briefly the Leticia case. I told him that I thought progress might be made if the Permanent Commission should take the position that there is no ground for calling a conciliation commission with regard to the city of Leticia itself. The dominion over that territory has been definitely settled by the Treaty of 1922 and no court can well reopen the case which parties themselves have closed by a definite agreement. The commission might then suggest that this territory be restored to its status in accordance with the Treaty of 1922 and that after that any commercial questions or differences between the two countries be submitted to a commission of conciliation. Mr. Arcaya said that he agreed with this point of view and thought it the logical one to follow and that that was the view of his Government also and that when the Peruvian answer is received that would be a good time to make this suggestion.

I made a similar statement over the telephone to Dr. Varela. He apparently is keen on having the Commission consider the matter rather than saying there is nothing to be discussed regarding Leticia. He will give the matter further consideration, however, when the Peruvian note has been received.

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Oct. 27th: I spoke by telephone this morning with Señor Racinos, Guatemalan Minister and third member of the Permanent Commission. He showed himself very favorably inclined to act as I suggested to Dr. Arcaya. He said he would get in touch with me again when the next Peruvian note is received as he thought that would give the Commission a good chance to act as I had suggested.

F[rancis] W[hite]
  1. Pedro Manuel Arcaya.