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

No. 1979

Sir: Referring to recent despatches and telegrams, I have the honor to report further regarding possible explorations looking toward a definite settlement of the boundary dispute between Peru and Ecuador.

As I have reported, several Peruvian officials recently have expressed to my Argentine and Brazilian colleagues and me the earnest hope that the three friendly countries may be able to propose a workable formula in the near future with respect to the boundary conflict. There is increasing talk of the possibility of reaching a definitive agreement upon the basis of the status quo line of 1936. Both the Argentine and Brazilian Ambassadors appear to be confident that there are chances for successful negotiations on this basis.

Since we are not informed regarding conversations which have taken place at Washington, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires, the Department’s comment and instructions would be appreciated. A first step might be for the three Ambassadors at Lima and the three Ministers at Quito to undertake informal exploratory conversations to ascertain if the Peruvian and Ecuadoran Governments would be disposed to initiate direct negotiations for an agreement upon a definitive boundary approximating the status quo line of 1936. If this is to be done, it would be well to impress upon both parties to the dispute the desirability of presenting minimum rather than maximum claims for modifications in the 1936 line.

There is enclosed a memorandum of a conversation34 which took place yesterday between Dr. Bellido, Secretary General of the Foreign Office, Dr. Echecopar, Chief of the Boundaries Office of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Butler, First Secretary of the Embassy. While it was understood that all of the views expressed during this conversation were personal and unofficial, the opinions of Dr. Bellido may be regarded as carrying substantial weight in matters relating to the conduct of Peruvian foreign affairs.

Respectfully yours,

R. Henry Norweb
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