724.3415/4352: Telegram

The Chargé in Brazil (Gordon) to the Secretary of State

321. My 320, November 17, 2 p.m. Foreign Minister informed me yesterday that Butler sailed from New York on the Berengaria last night. The Minister did not share my apprehension as to the possibilities of a leak, but he did assure me that there would be no attempt to convey his message to Butler by radio to the ship.

I again expressed my view that this move was fraught with potentially far reaching consequences, but the Minister clearly was not perturbed thereat.

Perhaps I am unduly concerned myself and this may be due to the fact that such knowledge as I have been able to acquire of the Chaco situation has hitherto necessarily been mainly from documentary study. It is true that the Minister yesterday reiterated that if any concrete basis for agreement between Bolivia and Paraguay were reached either as a result of direct conversations between the representatives of those two Governments here, or of any other mediation efforts consequent upon the League’s desistance, the conciliation conference in expanded form would take place in Buenos Aires (see Department’s 151, October 9, 5 p.m.,75 Embassy’s 288, October 17, 6 p.m.76) Likewise, he may feel that he could, in case of necessity, interpret this move as not differing substantially from the Argentine position outlined in the Embassy’s 258, October 2, 5 p.m. Nevertheless, it seems to me at least a question whether this step does not represent a strengthened desire to decrease the influence of Lamas in connection with any mediation efforts which might result in creating a substantial foundation for an eventual conference in Buenos Aires. [Page 110] In other ways also the present move appears to me to be one of an unusual nature for the Brazilian Government inasmuch as it risks being construed as an attempt to speak for us, and the dangers of its becoming a matter of public knowledge are patent.

I should very much appreciate the Department’s guiding comment in the premises.

  1. Post, p. 222.
  2. Post, p. 225.