724.34119/1255: Telegram

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

55. From Braden. At committee meeting this morning attended by Argentine Minister for Foreign Affairs ad interim, Paraguayan delegation as a starting point, presented the following formula for a permanent frontier: beginning immediately south of D’Orbigny at center of Pilcomayo River where Argentine-Bolivian boundary begins almost under thalweg of river to approximately Palo Marcado from there following easternmost line of separation to point adjacent to Huirapitindi (east of Santa Fe, see Neutral Military Commission map) thence north to a geographical point on the Parapiti River thence to northern line of separation and following it to Brazilian border near San Juan.

We told Zubizarreta14 his proposal was utterly unacceptable and could not even be mentioned to Bolivians. Pursuant to his request this afternoon committee made following counter offer stating that we would undertake to press for its acceptance by Bolivia: starting at Linares on Pilcomayo River north to 27 Noviembre, northwest to Foit Ingavi, east by south to mouth of River Otuquis in Bay of Bahia Negra. On Wednesday afternoon the Bolivian delegate suggested to me approximately the same line except that he also asked for the town of Bahia Negra, as a sovereign port, to which I replied, as I always have, that a sovereign port was out of the question.

At committee meeting this afternoon Paraguayan delegation at first indignantly rejected our formula maintaining that only possible criterion for a settlement was thesis of mutual territorial compensations whereas we held only norm was sufficient withdrawal to guarantee mutual security in perpetuity. After 3-hour discussion it was left that they would present Tuesday morning another formula including [Page 94] greater withdrawing which they undoubtedly will combine with excessive territorial compensation in the north. Both my colleagues and I are favorably impressed that at last the Paraguayans have begun to negotiate in an honest endeavor to reach a final solution and we are hopeful that by pursuing method followed by the Prisoners Committee of trading back and forth we may now advance.

I am calling committee meeting of Ruiz Moreno and Rodrigues Alves to begin negotiations with Bolivian delegate Monday morning. [Braden.]

  1. Geronimo Zubizarreta, Chairman of the Paraguayan delegation.