834.01/12: Telegram

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

33. At casual meeting at the Union Club last evening, not of my seeking, I have talked informally with Dr. Stefanich the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the de facto government. After a long explanation of the background of the recent revolution he stated that the de facto government is firmly established with nearly unanimous popular support and that they have succeeded in reestablishing order and practically normal conditions within the country. With reference to the intensely nationalist and somewhat anti-tone of the press he stated that the newspapers were being edited by the students and the younger element whose views had been long suppressed and that it was advisable for the time being to permit them to let off steam. Stating that the new Government is desirous of restoring normal relations with other nations and calling attention to the fact that both he and Provisional President Colonel Franco had repeatedly stated that all international agreements and especially the Buenos Aires protocols would be faithfully fulfilled, he stated that being without diplomatic representation abroad he had implanted the idea of recognition with such of the Diplomatic Corps here as had called upon him. I inquired whether any other steps looking to recognition had been taken and was assured that nothing further had been done.

He then asked my opinion as to what should be done, inquiring particularly as to whether I thought a special commission should be sent (presumably to Buenos Aires). I replied that I did not possess sufficient information or instructions to place me in a position to offer sound advice and that in the absence thereof I did not feel free to venture any opinion. He then stated that he would be very grateful if I would communicate with my Government with a view to giving him my personal opinion as to the best course of procedure in the matter of recognition, saying that he then and there solemnly reaffirmed the position of the de facto government with reference to the fulfillment of international obligations. I told him that I would endeavor to comply with his request.

Please instruct.