724.34119/37: Telegram

The Ambassador in Argentina (Weddell) to the Secretary of State

130. From Gibson. In recent conversations with members of several delegations including the Bolivians, Brazilians, and myself, Saavedra Lamas has spoken of the possibility that Chile might “let Bolivia have a port near Arica”.62 He has even asserted that he “felt authorized” to say that Chile would be willing to take this step although he has been vague as to whether it would mean a territorial cession or only a free port.

I understand that Nieto del Rio, one of the Chilean delegates some time ago informed the Bolivians that Chile would be ready to negotiate [Page 99] a protocol extending and defining Bolivia’s transit rights across Chilean territory from Arica. It occurs to me that Saavedra Lamas’ assertions may be merely a distortion of this offer as it is hard to conceive that Chile would agree in effect to reopen the Pacific question. [Gibson.]