724.3415/3207c: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in Switzerland (Wilson), at Geneva

118. Neutral Commission met today16 and gave following statement to the press:

“The Neutral Commission met and decided that in view of the present negotiations in other places between Bolivia and Paraguay for a settlement of the Chaco question there was nothing further for the Neutral Commission to do in the matter and that it could best contribute to the establishment of peace, the only object it has had in view during the long tedious negotiations it has patiently carried on, by withdrawing from the situation.

Experience has shown that if there is more than one center of negotiation confusion and lack of agreement are the inevitable results. The Commission therefore feels that it can best contribute to peace on this continent by withdrawing from the negotiations. Thus negotiations can be centered in Geneva, if other peace agencies will take [Page 344] a similar attitude, allowing the League Committee to work with universal support for peace.

The Neutral Commission also feels that its action promotes the best interests of Pan Americanism as it gives full support to the contending countries in seeking a solution in the place which they select, and it also clearly demonstrates to the American nations the necessity for them to deal effectively at the next Pan American Conference17 with the fundamental problem of the preservation of peace and order in this hemisphere.

In withdrawing from the negotiations the Neutral Commission and the Governments represented thereon do not wish to indicate that if both contending countries should feel that they could in the future be of assistance to them in bringing about peace and should request their help such an appeal would not be considered. Should both countries agree at a later date to appeal to the countries that have formed the Neutral Commission for further good offices in seeking to establish peace between them, their petition will of course be considered with care and sympathy. The action, if any, which those nations may take, will of course depend upon all the circumstances existing at that time.”

Paraguayan and Bolivian representatives in Washington have been advised regarding it.

Please say informally to Drummond and/or the League Committee dealing with the Chaco matter that should it be decided by the League to send a Commission to the Chaco this Government does not desire to be represented thereon nor does it desire that an American citizen be appointed on the Commission.

  1. See memorandum by the Chairman of the Commission of Neutrals, infra.
  2. See pp. 1 ff.