722.2315/1280: Telegram

The Ambassador in Peru (Steinhardt) to the Secretary of State

1. From Duggan.2 The Ecuadoran Foreign Minister3 and Dr. Ponce Borja4 returned to Quito by plane Monday. Prior to leaving Dr. Ponce Borja gave me an oral résumé of Dr. Concha’s5 remarks to Dr. Tobar Donoso as follows:

President Benavides has a sincere desire to settle the boundary controversy; Peru cannot accept however the two-point formula proposed by Dr. Tobar Donoso for renewal of negotiations followed by mediation if the negotiations do not reach a satisfactory result within a stipulated period; nor can Peru accept an alternative proposal recently advanced by Dr. Tobar Donoso that two friendly countries such as the United States and Brazil, make a careful independent study of the boundary problem for the purpose of informing themselves during the period that direct negotiations are being carried out; nor will Peru agree to resume direct negotiations in Washington or Rio; however, Peru is ready at any time to resume direct discussion in Lima and is prepared to state formally, but apparently not in writing, to some friendly third country that if the negotiations fail to reach a satisfactory conclusion Peru will then invoke one of the conciliation instruments to which both Ecuador and Peru are parties.

The Ecuadorans profess to see no value in the Peruvian counterproposal claiming that under the conciliation treaties Ecuador could invoke at this moment the conciliation procedure on the ground that direct negotiations have been exhausted and secondly that the conciliation procedure will not advance a solution since the non-national members of the committee of investigation would sit as individuals and not as agents of government.

Full report follows by air mail letter. [Duggan.]

  1. Laurence Duggan, Chief of the Division of the American Republics, and Adviser to the American delegation to the Eighth International Conference of American States, Lima, December 9–27, 1938.
  2. Julio Tobar Donoso.
  3. Alejandro Ponce Borja, member of the Ecuadoran delegation to the Eighth International Conference of American States, Lima, December 9–27, 1938.
  4. Carlos Concha, Peruvian Minister for Foreign Affairs.