The Minister in Ecuador (Dawson) to the Secretary of State

No. 778

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Legation’s despatch No. 745 of November 9, 1932,16 reporting the substance of a conversation with the Chilean Chargé d’Affaires touching the Leticia incident and more particularly eventual Chilean mediation with a view to facilitating a settlement of the boundary dispute between Ecuador and Peru.

On November 26 in the course of a reception at the American Legation, the Chilean Chargé took me to one side and read to me a telegram which had, he said, just been received from his Government. The telegram consisted of several paragraphs and in the circumstances I could make no note of the contents. The general purport, however, was to the effect that, while Chile viewed with sympathy any steps looking towards a boundary settlement, it could not undertake to intervene in a delicate international situation. I recall a reference to the respect of treaties and the closing statement that the early appointment of an Ecuadoran Minister to Santiago would afford an opportunity for further conversations.

After reading the telegram, the Chargé said: “No se quieren meter” (They wish to keep out of it). He then said that he had hoped that a new Ecuadoran Minister might reach Santiago for the inauguration of President Alessandri but that he considered this doubtful. Dr. Catón Cárdenas has been mentioned for the post but, while he may be appointed, I do not believe that the matter has been definitely decided.

Sr. Prado, the Chilean Chargé, told me that he might make a hurried visit to Santiago in December and that in this case he would call on President Sanchez Cerro en route. I have the distinct impression that Sr. Prado is very friendly towards Peru and is disposed to exert himself personally with a view to furthering cordial relations between Ecuador and Peru.

Respectfully yours,

William Dawson
  1. Not printed.