710.Peace Personnel/99: Telegram (part air)

The Consul at Geneva ( Gilbert ) to the Secretary of State

441. The political section of the League Secretariat is now charged with such consideration as the League may give to the Inter-American Conference. The section is in general engaged in studying all documentation relating to the Conference and obtaining collateral information from League “correspondents” in Latin America. A member of the section tells me that definite consideration is at present being given to the possibility of the League sending an observer to the Conference. It is entirely accepted that such action is dependent on an invitation. A repetition of the “Nogueira incident”30 of the Montevideo Conference of 1933 will be avoided. The question hinges on whether an invitation will be forthcoming from the Conference after it convenes with preoccupations as to the time element in the sending of an observer from Geneva should an invitation be received. The possibility of an invitation derives chiefly from intimations given to that effect by Saavedra Lamas when he was in Geneva. Respecting [Page 26] the time element the original plan of having Azcarate pay a visit to South American capitals and thus render easy his proceeding to Buenos Aires if desired, fell through on Azcarate’s resigning from the Secretariat. Whether another official of the Secretariat could at this date be similarly sent to Latin America involves aspects of a rebuff being presented should no invitation be issued. It is felt to be wise however, provisionally to select an official for pertinent duty in possible contingencies. Certain North and South American nationals in the Secretariat are candidates; but the sending of a national of any main party to the Conference is felt to be undesirable and for various political reasons the nationality of certain other members of the Secretariat renders their choice inappropriate. Very largely by elimination Aghanides31 seems at present to be chiefly considered.

It is felt that decisions of some sort will have to be reached early in November and it is hoped that guiding advices may by that time be received through the Argentine delegation here.

2. I am told that Childs of the ILO32 is planning to leave shortly for Latin America with the possibility in view of his attending the Buenos Aires Conference.

  1. See Foreign Relations, 1933, vol. iv, pp. 36165, passim.
  2. Thanassis Aghnides, Director, Disarmament Section, League of Nations.
  3. International Labor Office.