724.34119/1313: Telegram

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

93. From Braden. My 91, April 15, 11 a.m. Delegates returned from Asunción state the Paraguayan Government agrees withdrawal must be made in the west and will under pressure probably cede Puerto Caballo. Mediators are agreed Paraguayan proposal, which the chairman of that delegation arriving here Sunday is under instructions to make to the Conference next week, will be unsatisfactory and the stated intention of proceeding with the arbitral compromise merely a subterfuge whereby a settlement can be delayed again.

Mediators are convinced now is the psychological moment for a last decisive attempt. Further argument is futile since it is evident exbelligerents will yield only to pressure. Therefore to force a showdown the Conference yesterday decided that immediately after the Paraguayan proposal has been rejected by us we should with considerable fanfare make the final Conference proposal for settlement of the fundamental question. Positions of the two countries are now so close that united pressure of Conference and six neutral countries should produce a compromise settlement. Moreover, as pointed out in telegram No. 18, April 14, 6 p.m., from American Legation at La Paz either of the lines discussed therein is more than fair to Paraguay and is feasible in Bolivia. The exact terms of the proposal which we shall make to the two countries will be submitted for the express approval of the Foreign Offices of the six mediators and we intend to request the presence in Buenos Aires of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Bolivia and Paraguay. It is barely possible time schedules [Page 111] permitting Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Brazil, Chile, Peru, and Uruguay may be induced to attend. I expect the formula will be arrived at this week and must be kept secret until the stage is set with a large newspaper buildup for its disclosure say by the President of the Argentine Republic. In a measure, repeat the theatricals which were successful in June 1935.

My own time schedule is thrown out of gear by this development. While I have reservations on vessel leaving Valparaiso April 29 my colleagues have been most insistent that I remain for these critical negotiations. However, in view of Mr. Welles’ letter to me of February 23 instructions are requested as to what my movements should be. [Braden.]

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