724.34119/1257: Telegram

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

57. From Braden. My 55, March 11, 7:00 p.m. Paraguayan delegation meeting with Argentine Minister for Foreign Affairs ad interim, [Page 95] Ruiz Moreno, Barreda,15 and me this morning modified their last proposal by additional withdrawal to longitude 63 and instead of following northern line of separation to Brazilian frontier to cut south along Otuquis River, Paraguay to retain triangle ceded by Brazil to Bolivia.

Paraguayans offer in a separate treaty limited free port facilities such as Bolivia has in Mollendo in exchange for economic concessions by Bolivia, whereas the latter wants free port as part of peace treaty and on such conditions as enjoyed by Peru in Africa.

Markedly less reasonable attitude today of Paraguayan delegation in committee opinion results from interference by Saavedra Lamas. Zubizarreta admitted former Minister’s satellite, Carillo, described to them day before yesterday the Bolivian anxiety for peace treaty even on basis of this morning’s proposal.

Paraguayan delegation has asked for appointment with President of the Argentine Republic “to discuss their mission in the Conference” before Zubizarreta leaves for Asunción next week. This is perhaps also due to Lamas encouraging Paraguayan stalling by assuring them that he will be reappointed Chairman Argentine delegation on arrival Cantilo.

Alvarado thoroughly alive to entire situation will stop Carillo activities. He has arranged for President of the Argentine Republic to see Paraguayans 6:00 p.m. tomorrow and for him tell them he has instructed Argentine delegation: (1) strictly to carry out terms of protocol that is to say to get direct agreement and failing that the arbitral compromise; (2) press for immediate conclusion since prestige of mediatory countries is already seriously prejudiced by protraction; (3) discourage Zubizarreta’s trip.

On Thursday morning committee of the whole will meet with Alvarado to determine Conference course in the light of Paraguayan interview with the President of the Argentine Republic. Consensus of opinion mediators this morning was that if ex-belligerent viewpoints on frontier cannot be reconciled within one or two additional committee meetings taking full advantage of the threat most distasteful to Paraguay of arbitral compromise and Conference closure the latter should propose a boundary approximately as follows: Guachalla, 27 de Noviembre, Ravelo, mouth of Otuquis River in Bahia Negra Bay, following which Argentine and other mediatory powers must exercise every possible pressure for acceptance of this line.

Chilean Government disturbed because that delegate was not specially included in the committee but I expect feelings will be composed by talk I had today with the First Secretary of Embassy here. [Braden.]

  1. Felipe Barreda Laos, Chairman of the Peruvian delegation.