The Ambassador in Paraguay (Beaulac) to the Secretary of State

No. 1987

Sir: I have the honor to report that during a recent conversation which I had with Don Federico Chaves, Minister of Public Works in the new Cabinet and Vice President and active head of the Colorado Party, he told me that he anticipated that the decree abrogating the earlier decree which declared the Liberal Party illegal would be promulgated within a month. I expressed the hope, in a personal way, that the decree would be promulgated before that time.

Señor Chaves said also that the Government had decided that no elections for Congress would be held but that there would be elections for a Constituent Assembly. He estimated that these elections could not be held until at least a year has elapsed. He said that everything had to be done over. No electoral register had been made in years, and the last was fraudulent in many ways. Things are done slowly in Paraguay under the best circumstances. Communications are difficult, and for these and other reasons, it would take a year to do the job well.

I expressed disappointment that the job could not be done sooner. At the same time I congratulated Señor Chaves on the surprising rapidity with which civil and political rights have been restored following the entering into office of the new cabinet. He said he was hopeful that, for the first time in its history, Paraguay might have truly fair elections. He said that the Army appeared to be one hundred per-cent behind the Government and one hundred per-cent determined not to mix in politics, and he doubted that any political group was in a position to obtain any substantial support from within the Army for any extra-legal scheme that might occur to it.

Respectfully yours,

Willard L. Beaulac