The Ambassador in Argentina ( Weddell ) to the Secretary of State
[Received 8:20 p.m.]
57. At Chaco mediation group meeting this morning Argentine Minister for Foreign Affairs submitted reply from the Paraguayan Government accepting in principle truce proposal reported in my 55, May 27, 9 p.m. Paraguayan Minister for Foreign Affairs requested, however, that this be considered as informal and unofficial pending receipt of reply from Bolivia.
Paraguayan reply may be summarized as follows:
- Paraguay accepts immediate cessation of hostilities on a status quo basis.
- However, since present positions of the armies are not clearly determined, incidents are likely to arise.
- Paraguay suggests the signing tomorrow or as early as possible of a compromise with the following clauses: (a) An 8-day armistice to begin from the day and hour on which a commission of military experts is ready to proceed to the Chaco to fix line intermediary between the two belligerents, (b) Hostilities will cease as soon as military commission advises the two commands of the status quo line traced, (c) Belligerents pledge themselves solemnly before the mediation group to observe status quo line and the mediation group will be authorized on their own initiative or at the request of either party to watch over the strict observance of this obligation.
- The mediation will then proceed at once toward the negotiation of a convention of reciprocal security and of guarantees to put an end to the conflict.
- The neutral military commission will enter Chaco with the cooperation of the two commands and as soon as possible the lines will be fixed by agreement between the belligerents.
Dr. Saavedra Lamas stated that while no reply had been received from the Bolivian Government, the Bolivian Minister for Foreign Affairs had communicated his views concerning the truce, observations which the Argentine Minister for Foreign Affairs summarized as follows:
- A 30-days truce prolongable by agreement of both parties.
- The observance of this truce to be supervised by military officers chosen by the mediation group.
- The observance of the principles laid down in the declaration of August 3rd, 1932.42
- The mediation group to proceed at once with negotiations looking to agreement or arbitration.
The Bolivian Minister for Foreign Affairs informed the mediation group that he would endeavor promptly to secure a reply from his Government concerning the proposed truce, it being pointed out to him that the commission could not well proceed until this was received.
Since both Paraguay and Bolivia seem in agreement concerning the despatch of a neutral mediation commission in connection with cessation of hostilities please instruct on this point.