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

Mr. Wiggin, First Secretary of the British Embassy, came in by appointment. He stated that the Embassy had received telegraphic [Page 40] instructions from the British Foreign Office to discuss with the State Department the possibility of a joint effort by Great Britain and the United States to induce Brazil to accept the Argentine-Chilean invitation to participate in the proposed Chaco mediation. At about the same time that the telegram was received from London, the Embassy received a cable from the British Ambassador at Rio de Janeiro advising that he had seen the Brazilian Foreign Minister and strongly urged him to accept the Argentine-Chilean invitation; but that Brazil’s reply had not been altogether reassuring. It seemed from this, said Mr. Wiggin, that as the British had already acted at Rio de Janeiro there was really no longer any question of joint action by Great Britain and the United States; he would, however, appreciate any information I could give him.

I explained briefly the efforts made by Argentina and Chile to sound out in Asunción and La Paz the possibilities of mediation; the invitation addressed by Argentina and Chile to the United States, Brazil and Peru; the acceptance in general terms by the United States and the acceptance by Peru, and the Brazilian reply declining the invitation because of the omission of Brazil from the proposed Economic Conference. I said that the Argentine and Chilean Governments had advised us that the omission of Brazil’s name from the countries to take part in the Economic Conference had been caused solely by a typographical error at the time when drafts and re-drafts of the various proposals were being made, and that all the governments involved in the proposed mediation desired the participation of Brazil in the Economic Conference. I said that we decidedly hoped that Brazil would see her way clear to participate in the proposed mediation, that we had so informed Brazil, and that we felt that Brazil’s reply to Argentina and Chile had in fact left the door open.

I told Mr. Wiggin that I felt, in view of what had taken place in this matter, and inasmuch as the Brazilian Government was aware of the views held by his Government and by the Government of the United States, that there was really no reason to consider any joint action by the United States and Great Britain. Mr. Wiggin agreed.

Edwin C. Wilson