The Ambassador in Chile (Armour) to the Secretary of State

No. 30

Sir: In continuation of my despatch No. 26 of yesterday, and with reference to my telegram No. 62 of yesterday,9 I have the honor to transmit herewith the text and English translation of the convention agreeing to the designation of the Attorney General of the United States as sole arbiter of the Beagle Channel dispute, signed on May 4th in this city by the visiting Foreign Minister of Argentina and Foreign Minister Gutierrez of Chile. The text used appeared in La Nación of May 5th and, according to the Foreign Office is authentic. I have inquired of the Foreign Office as to just what the procedure of [Page 216] ratification as outlined in Article IV of the Convention will be, but my inquiry has not yet been answered.

[Here follow newspaper comments, not printed.]

Respectfully yours,

Norman Armour

Beagle Channel Convention

The Government of the Argentine Republic and the Government of the Republic of Chile, with the purpose of removing the only controversy at present existing between both countries, concerning the determination to which of them corresponds the sovereignty over the Picton, Nueva and Lennox Islands and adjoining islets located within the Beagle Channel in the area comprised between Tierra del Fuego, the Dumas Peninsula and Navarrino Islands;

Considering that, given the excellent links which through history and up to the present time have bound and continue to bind both republics, the arbitral solution is that which corresponds closest to the spirit of true international brotherhood existing between them;

That from this point of view it is desirable that recourse be had to an arbitral solution to this matter and to that end both governments agree that the functions of arbitrator are to be exercised by an American jurist whose record will assure competence and impartiality;

That the solution of this matter will reaffirm the friendly and peaceful relations existing between both countries;

Have resolved to designate the following plenipotentiaries for this purpose:

His Excellency the President of the Argentine Republic, Dr. Roberto M. Ortiz, His Excellency don José Maria Cantilo, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and His Excellency the President of the Republic of Chile, Dr. Arturo Alessandri, His Excellency Dr. José Ramón Gutiérrez, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Who, duly authorized, have agreed to submit the controversy in question to arbitration in conformity with the following bases:

  • Article 1: There shall be designated by both governments as arbitrator the Honorable Homer Cummings, Attorney General of the United States, who shall proceed to determine in accordance with existing treaties to which of the high contracting parties corresponds the sovereignty over Picton, Nueva and Lennox Islands and adjoining islets located within the Beagle Channel in the area comprised between Tierra del Fuego, the Dumas Peninsula and Navarrino Islands.
  • Article 2: The question shall be submitted to the arbitrator by means of a note signed jointly by the Ambassadors of both countries accredited to the United States.
  • Article 3: The arbitrator designated shall be able to dictate his decision once he has received a brief or written exposition from each [Page 217] one of the parties, although he is also authorized prior thereto to request from the same parties further information.
  • Article 4: This convention shall be submitted as rapidly as possible for the necessary ratification and once that is obtained ratifications shall be exchanged in the city of Buenos Aires within thirty days from the final approval by both countries.

In faith of which the undersigned sign and seal two copies of the present convention in the city of Santiago on the fourth day of the month of May 1938.

  1. Neither printed.