710.H/84

The Ambassador in Chile ( Armour ) to the Secretary of State
No. 107

Sir: I have the honor to inform the Department that in a recent conversation with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sr. Gutierrez Alliende, shortly after his return from his visit to Brazil and the Argentine, the question of the article in La Prensa of Buenos Aires, suggesting a postponement of the Conference at Lima was mentioned.

I said to the Minister that I took it for granted that the Government here did not share this opinion and was in favor of holding the Conference as scheduled. The Minister agreed, adding that any change in the date was, in the opinion of the Chilean Government, a matter for Peru to decide and that if the Peruvian Government wished to continue with the Conference as planned, Chile would of course agree. Personally he felt that conditions were not very propitious and that if the dispute between Peru and Ecuador12 had not been settled by that time, or had become aggravated, it might well affect the success of the Conference. However, he repeated, that was for Peru to decide.

Later, in talking with Don Germán Vergara, the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, who had also just returned, having accompanied the Minister on his visits to Brazil and the Argentine, Sr. Vergara confirmed what the Minister had said with regard to Chile’s attendance at the Lima Conference. He added, however, that for Chile particularly the date set for the opening—December 9th—was a most inconvenient one in that the change of Government there would take place with the inauguration of the new President on December 23rd. This, he said, would mean that some arrangement would have to be reached between the incoming and outgoing Governments on the [Page 8] attitude to be taken by the Chilean delegation on the various questions set forth in the agenda. It would also mean that the delegates would have to receive new powers and possibly fresh instructions from the incoming Government once it had taken over.

Sr. Vergara felt, however, that this could be arranged without too much difficulty, particularly if the Conservative candidate were elected, as he thought he would be, in which case presumably the policies of the present Government, especially with regard to foreign affairs, would be continued.

Sr. Vergara also referred to the dispute between Peru and Ecuador in connection with the forthcoming Conference, but said that he personally did not feel concerned in this connection. Peru certainly for internal reasons would not wish to engage in any external conflict now. Also the Peruvian Government was most anxious that the forthcoming Conference at Lima should be a success, and for this reason if for no other, he felt, would go the limit in making possible a peaceful solution of the dispute with Ecuador.

Both the Foreign Minister and the Under Secretary told me that they felt that the visits to Brazil and the Argentine had been a great success, and that the relations between the three countries now left nothing to be desired. The Minister himself told me that I could inform my Government that the calm of the Conference would not be disturbed by any disputes between Chile, Brazil and the Argentine, as these three countries now understood each other perfectly.

Respectfully yours,

Norman Armour
  1. See pp. 217 ff.