710 Consultation 3/36: Telegram

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

680. Reference Department’s circular telegram dated December 10, 6 p.m. I informed the Minister for Foreign Affairs this morning about the declaration of war by Germany and Italy although I told him that as yet I had no instructions from my Government.

I notified the Minister of the agenda for the consultative meeting and he showed me a cable from Concha12 saying that there is nothing in the agenda that would indicate that the boundary question would be discussed. He suggested that the three mediatory Governments indicate to Ecuador that this is not the time to complicate the international situation by raising the boundary question at the conference. I replied that it would be much better if the two parties would reach an agreement in principle immediately so that the three mediatory Governments could announce that it would not be necessary to consider the matter at the Rio de Janeiro meeting. The Minister told me that Viteri13 has announced his return to Quito because of the fact that the consultative meeting will solve all of Ecuador’s problems. The Minister said he had heard nothing about a Bolivian move to organize a united front of South American countries prior to the consultative meeting. My own opinion is that Bolivia is acting in this sense and that the Peruvian Minister for Foreign Affairs knows something about it.

The Minister told me that he plans to attend the conference, that he will go by way of Santiago, Buenos Aires and Montevideo and that he will not travel by air.

In discussing the action of Colombia the Minister and I agreed that one evident result of the consultative meeting would be the breaking off of diplomatic relations with Japan and the other partners of the Axis by all of the American Republics. The Minister said that Peru would sever diplomatic relations with Japan immediately if it knew what to do with the large Japanese population. In reply to the Minister’s question about what we were doing with [Page 125] Japanese citizens I replied that they were being placed in concentration camps when such action is necessary. The Minister thought it would be impossible to intern Japanese in Peru because of the large numbers and of the expense involved. He asked if we had any suggestions to make and repeated that Peru is disposed to sever diplomatic relations with Japan.

It is suggested that the Department might authorize me to inform the Ministry for Foreign Affairs that the United States would welcome a severance of diplomatic relations with Japan by Peru and that our Government would be willing to lend financial assistance in connection with the necessary internment of Japanese citizens in Peru.

Norweb
  1. Carlos Concha, special representative of Peru at Washington to deal with the boundary dispute between Ecuador and Peru.
  2. Homero Viteri La Fronte, special representative of Ecuador at Washington to deal with the boundary dispute between Ecuador and Peru.