Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State (White)

Mr. Espil called and after inquiring about the Chaco matter,6 on which I brought him up to date and gave him copies of our telegrams to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Bolivia and Paraguay, brought up the question of our action in bringing about a conciliation of the differences between Argentina and Uruguay. He had a long telegram from his Government which showed that there was a misunderstanding or, more probably, that Argentina had changed her mind in view of the feeling in Uruguay against the action of that Government in breaking off diplomatic relations, and that Argentina apparently thinks they can gain more of a diplomatic victory over Uruguay by not having a third power exercise good offices.

I told Mr. Espil that we had taken no initiative in this matter; that the initiative had come from the Argentine Government. Mr. Alcorta, the Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs, had told Mr. Bliss, as he reported to us in a cable of July 14, that Argentina would welcome the exercise by us of good offices. Mr. Bliss had called me up on the telephone on July 15 and had told me that the Argentine Government was anxious for us to act in the matter and the Department had taken the position that we were only too glad to be of any help to any countries in this hemisphere that desired our assistance. We had accordingly asked Mr. Wright to make discreet inquiries of the Uruguayan Government to know whether such action would be welcome to them because we would only act if both parties so desired. The Uruguayan Government had been glad for us to do so and Mr. Bliss and Mr. Wright, in Buenos Aires and Montevideo respectively, have since been doing everything they possibly could to be of service to the two Governments. If now the situation is changed, and one of the parties does not desire our good offices, of course we would desist therefrom at once, and while Mr. Espil was here I dictated a telegram to Buenos Aires in this sense7 which Mr. Espil said properly set forth the views of his Government.

F[rancis] W[hite]
  1. See pp. 8 ff.
  2. Infra.