724.3415/4631: Telegram

The Chargé in Argentina ( Cox ) to the Secretary of State

15. Minister for Foreign Affairs informed me this afternoon that Argentine and Chilean Governments are making new peace approach with Paraguay and Bolivia which they plan to make known to the League. In this démarche he said the limitrophe countries Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Peru, will have an important role. He stated that Argentina strongly desires participation of the United States and with that end in view Argentina will take what steps are necessary, hoping for the collaboration of the United States. Minister for Foreign Affairs said that for that reason he was communicating strictly confidentially background and details of this plan.

Saavedra Lamas then handed me a typewritten document, a translation of which is as follows:

“In February last Argentina and Chile decided to make a new exploratory effort with respect to the Chaco conflict. With this end in view the Argentine Foreign Office sent an official to Asunción for the purpose of proposing to President Ayala the acceptance in principle of the League’s recommendations and of trying to arrange whereby the modifications or amendments which had been requested might possibly be made acceptable to Bolivia. A concrete formula was thereupon reached.

This first step having been accomplished, the formula reached was sent to Chile in order that the latter in turn, as was agreed upon, should make a similar effort vis-à-vis Bolivia. Thereupon the Chilean Foreign Office sent a Chilean official to La Paz.

Chile replied that it could not obtain the Bolivian reply before March 11th as had been hoped because of internal political circumstances, more especially because on March 5th the President of Bolivia went out of office.

At this moment there occurred the slight diplomatic incident between Chile and Argentina which now is public property. This latter matter having been quickly and satisfactorily settled, Chile informed Argentina immediately of the result of the efforts which it had promised to make and which now lead toward a harmonious solution.

According to the information received from the Chilean Foreign Office there has already been obtained the acceptance on the part of the Bolivian Government of the consideration of modifications of the recommendations; the Bolivian Foreign Minister suggests certain [Page 14] modifications which shorten the time for the cessation of hostilities and for the formation of the commissions; with regard to security he insists that the best guarantee would be based on an agreement on the part of Bolivia with the boundary countries and another on the part of Paraguay with the same countries, by which each belligerent, once agreement has been reached between them for the cessation of hostilities, would pledge himself not to attack his adversary. Later Chile reported that the Bolivian general staff had given a favorable reply to the modifications which Chile had submitted to it, or in other words, to the conditions obtained by Argentina vis-à-vis Paraguay.

Such is the present state of negotiations which permit the hope of a satisfactory solution. The negotiations are being renewed now, the Argentine Foreign Office having communicated to Paraguay the bases upon which Bolivia accepts in principle this conciliatory solution.[”]