724.3415/4649: Telegram

The Chargé in Brazil (Gordon) to the Secretary of State

62. With reference to the confusion which has arisen from the latest Argentine-Chilean Chaco activities culminating in their joint declaration of last Friday embodied in the report of the League Chaco Committee, the Foreign Minister today gave me a copy of a telegram he sent last Saturday to the Brazilian Consulate at Geneva to the following effect: The Brazilian Government has been informed on different occasions of the Argentine-Chilean conciliation activities in La Paz and Asunción but it has never even stated its opinion as to the merits thereof in accordance with its consistent policy to hold aloof from any action until the League had said its last word. The Brazilian Government does not understand that the Argentine-Chilean negotiations shall be prosecuted jointly by those two countries with the addition of Brazil and Peru; the Brazilian Consul is therefore instructed to inform the Secretary General of the League that Brazil is entirely ignorant of the resolution to that effect, “besides which” concludes the telegram, “we consider the condition sine qua non of our collaboration the presence of the United States”.

As far as I can gather here there would appear never to have been a concrete formula to which the special Argentine and Chilean emissaries had secured the consent of Paraguay and Bolivia, respectively. In fact the Brazilian Minister at La Paz states that Nieto’s proposals had been “relegated to the files”. Moreover, the Brazilian Ambassador at Santiago reports that in response to his request for elucidation of the Argentine-Chilean joint declaration he was informed that it was due to a mistake in instructions. The Brazilian Ambassador at Buenos Aires is being instructed to make similar inquiry.

The Foreign Minister feels that in order to avoid being called upon to participate in sanctions Argentina and Chile sought to ward off League action by making it appear that they had achieved much more success than was actually the case and he characterized their action as “pure bluff”.