724.34119/1266: Telegram

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

61. From Braden. My 60, March 18 [19], 5 p.m. I find that at the last moment Rivarola dissuaded Justo from sending letter on the [Page 98] score that latter’s recommendation would not be accepted thus injuring his personal prestige.

In a long and heated meeting this morning, despite the arguments but [by?] all mediators including a restatement by me along the lines of legal adviser’s opinion of March 2 that intermediary line could not be accepted as a basis for territorial compensation, Zubizarreta categorically outlined the Government’s policy as follows:

1. Paraguay would never grant Bolivia any sovereign port even Puerto Caballo. This disposed of proposals (2) and (3).

2. She would accept terminal point of boundary at mouth of Otuquis and Paraguay River subject to adequate territorial compensation north of intermediary line for the withdrawal to west and south of it.

This would at least leave Bolivia triangle on Paraguay River ceded by Brazil.

3. Paraguay would accept territorial compensation only and was totally uninterested in economic or monetary ones.

4. He and his delegation represented one hundred percent opinion of Paraguayan Government and people and mediators had best realize that fact.

On Thursday morning he will present committee with another proposal. This offer resulted in large degree from strong stand taken by Alvarado who warned Zubizarreta that Argentina stood shoulder to shoulder with the other mediators, that we are in final stages of negotiations only one or two drops remaining to be squeezed from the lemon. That he personally as a newcomer was deeply impressed by the mediators’ patience, knowledge, and integrity and with the “spirit of belligerency” towards the Conference of Zubizarreta and his colleagues.

This afternoon in long conversation with Estigarribia18 and Insfran the former completely reversed previous reasonable attitude (my despatch No. 633, February 2 [7])19 and now equals Zubizarreta’s intransigence.

First paragraph my telegram No. 58, March 17, 6 p.m. Zubizarreta advised Ortiz that his trip could not be canceled. Nevertheless, he has evidently postponed it and has not referred to it again.

Alvarado informed Brazilian delegate that Zubizarreta during the last few days has been in consultation with Saavedra Lamas.

Pending receipt of new formula Thursday my Brazilian and Peruvian colleagues and I will work on junior Paraguayan delegate but it is evident that the one hope of success is the degree to which Argentina can reduce Paraguayan intransigence. [Braden.]

  1. Gen. José Félix Estigarribia, Paraguayan delegate.
  2. Not printed.