724.34119/1089: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Argentina (Weddell)

102. For Braden from the Under Secretary. Your 205, October 28, 9 a.m., and 206, October 28, 11 a.m. The exchange of views effected in my telegram 98, October 26, 2 p.m., and your telegrams under reference make it appear desirable for our delegation to support conference action along the following lines:

It appears that the Paraguayan delegation should be tactfully informed, in reply to the note mentioned in your 199, October 23, noon, that the Conference cannot decide otherwise than that, under the protocols, the establishment and maintenance of a security system in the Chaco is an exclusive function of the Conference until a final peace settlement is achieved. Reference to the signature of the January 9 bases21 by the Paraguayan Foreign Minister and the Paraguayan delegate, and to the Paraguayan delegate’s note of May 18,22 should be helpful in this respect.
At the same time that the foregoing is brought to the attention of the Paraguayan delegation, the Conference should express, in a conciliatory manner, its willingness to discuss with the Paraguayan or Bolivian delegations any clarification of the existing security regulations that may be considered necessary by either of the two parties.
The mediatory powers might well be urged to continue to send their military observers to the Chaco, at least during the time that a further effort is being made to adjust the matter of the security regulations. While failure to keep observers in the Chaco might imply a withdrawal by the mediatory powers of their moral guarantee, as stated by the Argentine and Brazilian delegates, it also might be interpreted as meaning that the Conference has given in to Paraguay as concerns jurisdiction over security measures. In the event that Paraguay makes it impossible for the military observers to carry out their instructions from the Conference, consideration then might be given to making public a conference resolution which would provide for the withdrawal of the observers and which would set forth the reasons for such action. The Paraguayan delegation might be informally apprised of this contemplated procedure.
It seems highly desirable that the Conference should press the negotiation of a well implemented non-aggression pact concurrently with its work on the fundamental issue. The negotiation of such a [Page 34]pact, however, should be entirely divorced from a consideration of the present security regulations; and it should be made clear that a rapid adjustment respecting the regulations, on the basis of conference jurisdiction, is the most important immediate problem.

In your opinion, is the Brazilian statement of October 8, reported in your despatch 539,23 in accord with the procedure outlined in paragraph (4)? There is some indication that the Brazilian plan would be to drop the question of the existing regulations in the event that Paraguay refuses to accept the regulations as they are. The Brazilian delegate went on to say that should Paraguay refuse, the Conference would be faced by the necessity of rapidly establishing a modus vivendi guaranteeing security in the Chaco and acceptable to Bolivia. If the modus vivendi referred to would represent merely a modification of the existing regulations and would be based upon conference jurisdiction in the matter, then the views of Brazil and the United States are approximately the same.

I am considering the views expressed in the second and third paragraphs of your telegram 205; and I have noted that the comment about General Estigarribia, set forth in paragraph 8 of your despatch 541,24 indicates the possibility that his moderate views may yet prove of assistance in reaching a direct settlement of the Chaco controversy. However, I wish to give further study to the alternate courses of continued effort for direct settlement or resort to The Hague court before reaching a definite decision in the matter.

You may, in your discretion, discuss paragraphs (1) to (4) of this telegram with the mediatory delegates, with a view to bringing about unity of action by the Conference.

  1. See The Chaco Peace Conference, pp. 23, 106, 108.
  2. Ibid., p. 120.
  3. Dated October 20; not printed.
  4. Dated October 21; not printed.