721.23/2170: Telegram

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

54. My 44, March 15, 10 p.m. Leticia negotiations here have recently taken on a decidedly less favorable aspect owing to recognition of fact that negotiators are unable to agree upon a basis of solution.

One evidence of the growing feeling of uneasiness is found in the fact that both delegations have issued general statements, the Colombian yesterday and the Peruvian today.

The Colombian statement stresses the view that there is no connection between the period of the League mandate and the negotiations in Rio, that the latter can perfectly well continue after the expiration of mandate.

The Peruvian begins with the rather surprising statement that the trouble in Leticia was caused by rebel frontiersmen. The only thought not very clearly expressed in the statement is that it would be unwise to make any change in the status of Leticia for any brief additional time which might be necessary to reach agreement.

Foreign Office more pessimistic and disposed to feel that negotiations are bound to fail and be followed by outbreak of hostilities. I shall report more fully when I have had an opportunity for checking up information with Mello Franco this evening.