710.Peace/4: Telegram

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

66. Your 95, August 8, 4 p.m. In the reply made by the Peruvian Government to the confidential inquiry addressed to the President of Peru through the Peruvian Ambassador in Washington no reference of any kind was made as to the seat of a possible inter-American peace conference. Reference was made to the fact that the Eighth Inter-American Conference was to be held in Lima and the view of President Benavides was stated to be that while the holding of this extraordinary conference might detract from the importance of the Eighth Inter-American Conference, nevertheless, the Government of [Page 5] Peru would be glad to support any initiative taken by the President of the United States in recognition of the desirability of the objective sought.

While the confidential reaction to the President’s informal sounding of the opinion of some of the American republics has been uniformly favorable, nevertheless, the Argentine Government has urged delay in proceeding with the initiative until an opportunity has been afforded to ascertain whether the Chaco Conference at Buenos Aires would prove to be successful or not. Inasmuch as the President’s plan of an extraordinary inter-American conference to consider the best and most practical methods of perfecting peace machinery on this continent is predicated upon the successful termination of the Chaco Conference at Buenos Aires, the President has determined to defer taking any initiative in the matter for a short time. The prospects of a successful termination of the Chaco Conference and the decision as to the most opportune moment for the President to take the initiative in this matter will be re-examined in the course of the next few weeks.

For the time being it is, of course, imperative, as you will understand, that no publicity of any character be given to this matter. For that reason the Department desires you to refrain from discussing any aspects of the question with the Peruvian Government and should any inquiry be made of you, you may merely say that you are without instructions in the matter.