724.34119/1256: Telegram

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

56. From Braden. My 55, March 11, 7 p.m. Committee met this morning in Chilean Embassy with Chilean and Bolivian delegates also present. Mediators argued Bolivia must become reconciled to free instead of sovereign port and that fundamental basis of any treaty must be frontier insuring mutual security against renewal of war.

Bolivian delegate reiterated as official position sovereign port and prewar territorial status in Chaco but said he was willing to discuss boundary movement to the west in proportion to degree of free port facilities accorded, always on the understanding that the mediators assume responsibility during trip to La Paz of convincing that Government of necessity for abandoning sovereign port. Since we are definitely assured of Justo’s strong intervention at the critical moment I have thought wise to drop temporarily pressure for his assuming active presidency and rather to inspire my colleagues with the determination to reach an agreement before Cantilo arrival April 11. This appeals particularly to Alvarado who would be delighted to accomplish during his short tenure of office what S. Lamas failed to do in over 2 years. Also more active cooperation of Chilean delegate would be thus secured since he would be pleased to conclude matters before going vacation April 9. [Braden.]