724.34119/1270: Telegram

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

69. From Braden. My 66, March 24, 7 p.m. Net of all day meeting with Bolivian delegate was his statement

Frontier touching Parapiti impossible under any circumstances
Would accept Linares, 27 of November, Ravelo, Port of Bahia Negra
Will not consider frontier along meridian through D’Orbigny but a line considerably east of Ibibobo hills, nevertheless, he gave impression he might accept frontier at foot of eastern rise of those hills and would later abandon sovereign port if treaty provides for Paraguay to grant full free port privileges at a subsequent date.

Great confusion exists as to location exactly of Ibibobo hills. Can the Department help in this respect?

According to the Bolivian delegate, Elio,22 in attempt to regain political prestige and to justify his signature of protocol, has made headway in convincing Bolivian Government that best solution is World Court arbitration if necessary through unilateral appeal. Alvestegui who opposed the protocol is convinced that only alternative to direct agreement is eventual war. If this difference of opinion assumes major proportions Alvestegui may resign. The Bolivian proposal today reflects the fact, as the delegate admitted to me, that he cannot afford to be more liberal since Elio is working against him from behind. Alvarado agrees absolutely with me that after a few more meetings relatively little further advance will be possible here and trips should be made; preferably going to La Paz first; in view of the above. Other delegations oppose them alleging that there must be first an arrangement in the positions of the ex-belligerent delegations; and we should await arrival and approval of Cantilo. [Page 101] I feel the only means to get any agreement is directly with the respective governments since delegations will fear to assume responsibility for concessions and Cantilo may lack Alvarado’s grasp of the situation and drive.

Apparently Alvarado is keeping President of the Argentine Republic fully informed of daily developments. The latter has received an encouraging letter from President of Bolivia, Based on it, Alvarado believes Bolivia can be influenced to accept an otherwise unsatisfactory peace treaty if Argentina will definitely commit herself to the construction of Yacuiba-Santa Cruz railroad and he will support delegates’ negotiations in La Paz by making such a commitment contingent upon success of our discussions there.

Alvarado tells me he is sending Argentine Minister to Paraguay back to Asunción with instructions to put pressure on the Government there. [Braden.]

  1. Tomás Manuel Elío, ex-Bolivian Minister for Foreign Affairs and former Chairman of the Bolivian delegation.