The Ambassador in Argentina (Weddell) to the Secretary of State
[Received 6:10 p.m.]
127. From Gibson. Saavedra Lamas sent for me last evening to talk over plans for Conference work. He said he was calling the next meeting for Monday afternoon as the Brazilian and Paraguayan delegations would both be completed by that time.
He is anxious to avoid having the question of responsibilities and reparations discussed in the Conference as such discussion might prejudice agreement on more essential matters; to this end he [thinks?] the best course might be to act in accordance with the provisions of articles 7 and 10 of his Anti-War Pact60 and refer the entire subject to some distant judicial authority in the hope that the preparation of an advisory opinion would last long enough to render possible conclusion of direct agreement on practical grounds. He had just discussed the matter with the Bolivian Minister for Foreign Affairs61 who expressed full agreement. “In fact Elío had broached the idea of such treatment to me in previous conversation.”[Page 98]
He plans to set up some committees for dealing with the questions of prisoners of war and economic and transit matters but was not precise as to the machinery he had in mind.
He said that for the present he expected to hold only two meetings a week thus deliberately delaying matters until demobilization had gone so far that it would be difficult for either party to threaten the Conference with a resumption of hostilities. He was disturbed by news received from Bolivia to the effect that the Bolivian military authorities were delaying demobilization in order to have their military machine intact for possible eventualities in connection with the change in the Presidency on August 6th.