The Minister in Paraguay ( Howard ) to the Secretary of State
[Received 1:45 p.m.]
40. The Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Provisional Government21 this morning handed to the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps (the Peruvian Minister) an authenticated copy of the telegram sent last night by Colonel Franco to the presidents of the states participating in the Chaco mediation.22
In an informal conversation last night Dr. Stefanich told me that the Provisional Government planned to convey the formal assurances of the present regime to respect the Chaco engagements. While the communication is badly drafted in that it merely cites earlier declarations in this sense it would seem that it is intended to be an official tender of such formal assurances.
Dr. Stefanich also mentioned the readiness of Paraguay to deliver immediately a few Bolivian officers but said he felt, to satisfy public opinion, that assurances should be given that Bolivia would simultaneously do likewise.
I believe that the Franco regime is desirous of commencing the repatriation of prisoners under the terms of and within the time limits fixed in the protocol, and very possibly would welcome an indication of a means of doing so.
Repeated to Buenos Aires.