710.Peace/3: Telegram

The Ambassador in Peru (Dearing) to the Secretary of State

95. Strictly confidential for the President, the Secretary and Mr. Welles.2

“Inter-American Peace Conference.”

Foreign Minister informs me President Benavides and his Government accept the suggestions made by Welles to Freyre3 and wish to cooperate in every way possible. This is upon the [basis] that this Conference is to be held at Lima in lieu of Eighth Pan American Conference for which no date yet fixed.

The Foreign Minister understands our Government is sounding out other American Governments on the basis of calling the Conference as soon as present Chaco Peace Conference at Buenos Aires has closed.

Foreign Minister states Argentina is extremely sensitive about the general question of peace and her prestige and may interpret the present sounding as an indication we expect the Buenos Aires Conference will fail and thus create an atmosphere inauspicious for the later General Conference at Lima now contemplated.

I get the impression that Peru, which is also sensitive about its prestige, is particularly anxious not to be overshadowed by Argentina and is anxious to make sure the Conference will be held here and also that Peru will not have to play any negative role. It will be recalled that Saavedra Lamas4 is an extremely ambitious candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Further report by air.

  1. Sumner Welles, Assistant Secretary of State.
  2. Don Manuel de Freyre y Santander, Peruvian Ambassador.
  3. Carlos Saavedra Lamas, Argentine Minister for Foreign Affairs.