The Chargé in Bolivia (Adam) to the Secretary of State
[Received 6:07 p.m.]
648. Yesterday afternoon a battery of artillery was brought from Viacha and placed near the railroad track and trained on the city. At the same time a battery of anti-aircraft artillery was placed nearby and with guns depressed also trained on the city. Some 200 soldiers were on hand to man the guns. It seems fairly certain that at three yesterday afternoon the military members of the Cabinet, Pinto, Calero31 and Ponce met and decided that the MNR was disgracing [Page 356]the country and besmirching the Army’s prestige, seeing that it is collaborating in the Govt. It is believed at this meeting that the arrest of pro-MNR Minister Govt, Nogales, was discussed and that the guns were brought up in case of an MNR reaction against this arrest. However, Nogales who could not be reached yesterday, spoke by phone from his office to Neathery this morning.
Although I heard something that sounded like artillery fire at 8:45 last night, there was no evidence today in La Paz of any unusual condition. Teachers and university student strikes continue however and a new railroad strike and other industrial strikes are quite possible.
Ambassador-designate, Flack, was to have presented his credentials today but because the President is alleged to be in bed with fever no date has yet been definitely set.32