721.23/2121: Telegram

The Ambassador in Brazil ( Gibson ) to the Secretary of State

27. Department’s 16, February 14, 3 p.m. Mello Franco informs me no recent developments but that Peruvian and Colombian delegates are to call on him today or tomorrow to discuss a date for the resumption of conversations. So far as can be judged, reason for delay lies in the fact, (1), that there has been a conflict within the Peruvian delegation (see my 16, January 29, 1 p.m.) and, (2), that there was such a definite deadlock as to Leticia itself that it was considered unwise to force the issue. Mello Franco feels that there is a possibility of agreement which will have to be brought about through some rather complicated exchange of territory. He feels that the time has not been entirely lost as feelings have been afforded an opportunity to cool off and the relations between the two delegations, formal at the outset, have become distinctly friendly and personal. His only concern lies in the fear that the press in Peru and Colombia may start a fresh wave of feeling. He is informed that both Governments are purchasing arms and is unofficially urging upon the two delegations that if they hope to maintain the ascendency of the civil authorities over the military they must come to a [prompt?] and reasonable agreement.

Mello Franco promises to keep me informed as to developments.