Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State (White)

Dr. Guzman called at my request and I advised him of the contents of the telegram from Señor Cruchaga contained in telegram 167 of December 8, 4 p.m., from Panama and asked Dr. Guzman how he felt regarding this proposal and whether there was anything I could properly say to Señor Cruchaga in reply.

Dr. Guzman said that yesterday he had sent Señor Cruchaga a radio to his ship at Colon, giving him the reasons why Colombia cannot accept this formula. He said this formula was exactly the same as the one which Señor Cruchaga had communicated to him in New York just before Cruchaga sailed.

I inquired whether there was any way in which Señor Cruchaga’s formula might be amended in order to make it more acceptable to Colombia. He said that Colombia takes the very definite position that the Leticia matter is an internal one and that they cannot discuss its recovery with any foreign power. I told Dr. Guzman that while I understood Colombia’s position, I thought that it was possible that Peru was looking for a way out and that Peru could not, apparently for its internal political reasons, evacuate Leticia on the mere request of Colombia but that it might well be able to do so at the demand of a Commission such as Señor Cruchaga suggests. I said that if this were arranged in advance, it might help the situation. Dr. Guzman said that there was nothing that could be done in this connection.

Señor Guzman then told me that he had met Señor Maúrtua casually last night and that they were going to have a conference this afternoon and he promised to let me know the result thereof.

F[rancis] W[hite]