Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Latin American Affairs (Wilson)

The Peruvian Ambassador called to inform me of the reply of his Government to the Colombian request that the date for exchange of ratifications of the Rio de Janeiro protocol be extended to the end of this year. He said that the Colombian Government had stated that they supported the protocol unreservedly and were confident they would obtain ratification in the new Congress following the elections to be held next May. The Peruvian Government, after consultation with the diplomatic commission of the Assembly and the advisory committee of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, had replied that they viewed favorably the Colombian proposal and would ask the Peruvian Assembly for approval of it, at the same time pointing out that in their judgment the extension should not run beyond September 30, 1935 (the Ambassador said that he did not know the reason for fixing this particular date). The Ambassador said that the Colombian Government had also stated that in its view the supplementary arrangements which had been made between the two Governments following the signature of the protocol, relating to customs, river navigation, policing of frontiers, et cetera, were working satisfactorily and should be maintained. The Peruvian Government, in its reply, had suggested that during the period between now and September 30 the provision of the Rio de Janeiro protocol looking to the demilitarization of the frontier by means of a technical commission should be proceeded with.

I said to the Ambassador that I thought the attitude of the Peruvian Government in this matter was admirable and most encouraging in its understanding of the real difficulties which had beset the Colombian Government in its sincere effort to obtain ratification of the protocol within the stipulated period, and that it would be an example to the rest of the world.

The Ambassador said that he had reported to his Government that the Department of State believed that the Colombian Government had been sincere in its effort to obtain ratification of the protocol and was not merely maneuvering for an advantage, and he believed that this [Page 214] view of the Department had been of influence in the decision reached by the Peruvian Government. I said that there was not the slightest doubt in my mind that the Colombian Government sincerely desired to ratify this protocol and put it into effect at the earliest possible moment and that, as I had mentioned to him the other day, the assumption of the post of Foreign Minister by Dr. Olaya, who as President had approved the protocol, was a most hopeful development.

Edwin C. Wilson