The Ambassador in Argentina (Weddell) to the Secretary of State
[Received July 20—1:56 a.m.]
140. From Gibson. Fifth session of the Peace Conference this afternoon discussed article No. I, paragraph No. 4 of Protocol.
Bolivia and Paraguay in agreement as to prompt exchange of prisoners but disagreed as to whether surplus prisoners held by Paraguay should be repatriated now or after signature of peace (Bolivia holds about 2,500 prisoners, Paraguay about 30,000).
A committee was set up to study and attempt to conciliate the conflicting views and report to the Conference. This committee composed of two representatives of each of the ex-belligerents and three neutrals. President declined to act on proposal that he choose the three neutral members and had lots drawn resulting in choice of one Argentine, one Chilean and myself. I should have preferred not to be on this committee but under the circumstances could not very well avoid acceptance. [Gibson.]