834.01/8: Telegram

The Minister in Paraguay (Howard) to the Secretary of State

29. The “declarations” of Provisional President Franco cited in my 28, February 26, 4 p.m., are contained in his address to the people who participated in a popular demonstration Monday afternoon at which a Communist orator spoke and a banner with a Communist legend was displayed. The address as published in today’s newspapers was directed to “the Paraguayan people of Antequera, of Rodriguez de Franci, and of the Lopez” and its salient points are as follows:

(1) “International peace will find the firmest support in our decision to respect existing pacts and to cultivate relations of fraternity with foreign nations”; (2), “The renovating work of the revolution is based upon respect for the authentic worth of our nation and they are mistaken who suppose that the action of the Provisional Government might be inspired by the doctrines of the extreme Left”; and (3), “It is necessary that national and foreign opinion have the most complete confidence in the intentions of the new Government. We are not headed for dissolution or anarchy.”

It is reported that the Government appreciates the unwisdom of becoming identified with extremists, is already embarrassed by them, and will take steps to curtail their activities.

In his interviews this morning with the members of the Diplomatic Corps who acceded to his renewed invitation Dr. Stefanich asserted that the Provisional Government is firmly established and enjoys the support of the army, the ex-combatants, the public and the resident foreigners (this statement being based upon the participation in the popular demonstration on behalf of the foreign civil legion, which [Page 867] includes American citizens) and can maintain itself. He added that the Communist element would be eradicated as soon as possible and that foreign interests would be respected. In these circumstances he expressed the desire that the new government be accorded recognition.

The five European representatives met this evening and decided to inform their governments of the foregoing and to state that the Franco government appears to be stable and capable of maintaining itself subject however to disruption as a result of internal strife. The Spanish Minister probably will recommend immediate recognition. The German Minister will probably state that recognition at this time would be premature, as will the British Chargé d’Affaires who will also recommend that his Government maintain contact with the governments of the states associated in the Chaco mediation and follow their [example]. Mexico of course has recognized the Provisional Government.

Repeated to Buenos Aires.