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desire that the long standing difficulty should be satisfactorily solved without injury to the sovereignty of either nation. Both delegations were then received by President Alvear, to whom they presented their respects.
Certain Paraguayan and Bolivian delegates have given interviews to the press, couched in vague but optimistic terms, alleging that their respective delegations are inspired by a spirit of justice and friendship. Dr. Mujía, of the Bolivian Delegation, however, is reported to have stated that his country must have an outlet on the Paraguay River, which should be not only of immense benefit to Bolivian commerce, but of great value to Paraguay. On the other hand, Dr. Guggiari, one of the Paraguayan representatives, has pointed out to La Nación that his country is much more vitally interested than Bolivia in the Northern Chaco and has substantiated its claims repeatedly during the last half century by military occupation, commercial concessions, etc. This interview has called forth a sharp reply from Dr. Escalier, who, in a letter to La Nación, expressed his surprise at Dr. Guggiari's statements and asserted that the Bolivian delegates could also proclaim the incontestable rights of Bolivia to the Northern Chaco.
Among Argentine officials there seems to be slight hope of the Conference reaching a solution of this long outstanding controversy. In Paraguay, so I am informed by the diplomatic representative to Argentina from a neighboring country, who has just returned to Buenos Aires from a visit to Asunción, there is a pronounced feeling of pessimism on the outcome of the Conference, and public opinion is strongly adverse to making any concessions to Bolivia.
It will be remembered that Article 4 of the Protocol of April 22 provides for the formation of an arbitral tribunal should the present Conference fail to reach a definite agreement. In this connection press reports of apparently trustworthy character state that the Argentine Government would decline to accept a membership in any arbitral tribunal that might be formed in pursuance to this Article, and it has been confided to me by a high Government official that President Alvear would not consent to act as arbitrator. I have [etc.]
ROBERT WOODS BLISS
The Ambassador in Argentina (Bliss) to the Secretary of State
BUENOS AIRES, December 6, 1927.
[Received January 5, 1928.] SIR: With reference to my despatch No. 26 of October 3, I have the honor to state that the negotiations of the Paraguayan and Bolivian
delegations appointed in pursuance of the Gutierrez-Diaz León protocol appear to have reached an impasse. It is reported that the cause of the difficulties encountered by these delegations consists in the divergence of opinion on the subject of the status quo which the Department will remember was defined in the Pinilla-Soler protocol of 1907.53 The Paraguayan representatives desire to reach, first of all, some kind of a modus vivendi based upon this status quo after
, which the determination of the international boundary could be arrived at by direct negotiations. Should these fail, an arbitral tribunal would be appointed and the limits of the territory defined that would be submitted to its decision.
It is stated, however, that the Bolivians decline to consider at present any such status quo or modus vivendi, asserting that the delimitation of the international boundary must be first considered and not matters of relatively secondary importance. It is also reported that, according to the Bolivian viewpoint, the status quo of the Pinilla-Soler protocol had no bearing upon the boundary lines which, according to the terms of that protocol, were to be submitted to arbitration and which, the Bolivians allege, were altered by the Mujía-Ayala protocol of 1913.64 The Bolivian delegates also declare that the status quo had reference only to actual possessions and not to boundaries.
To the observation of the Paraguayan delegates that Bolivia has erected forts to the eastward of the line stipulated in the PinillaSoler protocol, their Bolivian confreres reply that Paraguay has also made important advances into the disputed territory.
It is alleged in this connection, however, that should the Paraguayan thesis be adopted, it would not mean that Bolivia would be compelled, for this reason, to evacuate the forts, as such evacuation would occur only in the event that the treaty or arbitral decision gave the territory to Paraguay. It would, however, be equivalent to a recognition by the Bolivians that their occupation of this country was merely de facto and not de jure.
During October and November the delegations have held a number of plenary sessions for the purpose of presenting various memoranda and counter memoranda setting forth their views with respect to the status quo. These memoranda are now being studied by a special committee appointed for this purpose. This committee is composed of the following persons:
The Bolivian Plenipotentiaries, Doctors José María Escalier and Daniel Sánchez Bustamante.
The Paraguayan Plenipotentiaries, Doctors Eusebio Ayala, José P. Guggiari and Fulgencio R. Moreno, together with several technical advisers.
It will also examine the problems presented by the delimitation of the frontier and the possible establishment of an arbitral tribunal. For the time being, therefore, the plenary sessions of the delegations have been suspended.
It is stated that but slight hopes are entertained of solving the difficulty in question, although Dr. Ayala expressed himself in optimistic terms on the occasion of a recent visit to Asunción. Should the direct negotiations terminate in failure, the appointment of an arbitral tribunal, as provided in Article IV of the Gutierrez-Diaz León protocol, would appear to be the next step to be taken by both Governments. I have [etc.]
ROBERT WOODS BLISS
724.3415/171 : Telegram
The Ambassador in Argentina (Bliss) to the Secretary of State
BUENOS AIRES, December 19, 1927—1 p. m.
[Received 10 p. m.] 109. A report that the Government of Argentina had offered its mediation to settle the boundary dispute between Bolivia and Paraguay has been given prominence in La Nación. The Foreign Minister has denied in the paper that the Government of Argentina had offered mediation.
I have ascertained from a reliable source that about a week ago the Government of Argentina instructed its diplomatic representatives at Asuncion and La Paz to inform the Governments to which they are accredited in the following sense: An impasse having apparently been reached in the negotiations between the Governments of Bolivia and Paraguay to settle the long-standing boundary dispute, the Government of Argentina deemed it important to settle the matter before the Pan American Conference opened next month. As an evidence of its friendly and neighborly sentiments and since the meetings of the Joint Commission were being held in Buenos Aires, the Government of Argentina made the suggestion that an agreement be reached between the two parties along the following lines:
1. That the matter be submitted to definite arbitration.
2. That police forces be substituted for military forces in the small regiments in the territory in dispute and along the frontiers.
3. That a nonaggression pact effective until the disputed question is finally adjudged, be signed by Bolivia and Paraguay.
Bolivia answered that it gladly accepted Argentina's offer of mediation, and Argentina replied that it had not offered to act as mediator, would not accept [a request ?] to arbitrate, and had only suggested a logical and final way out of the present difficulty. Paraguay answered that it accepted the Argentine suggestion in principle.
The Ambassador in Argentina (Bliss) to the Secretary of State No. 114
BUENOS AIRES, December 28, 1927.
[Received January 18, 1928.] Sir: I have the honor to inform the Department that the Paraguayan and Bolivian Boundary Commissions, which have been attempting, without success, to settle the boundary dispute between their respective countries, adopted yesterday a resolution, which was immediately made public. A translation of this resolution reads as follows:
"As the Governments of Bolivia and Paraguay have accepted, in principle, the friendly suggestion of the Government of the Argentine Republic, as a means whereby the plenipotentiaries of the Boundary Conference who have met in this Capital may be enabled to continue their task, in view of the lateness of the season and the advisability for both delegations to place themselves in contact with their respective Chancelleries, it is resolved: To suspend the Conference until March 15, 1928."
As stated in my telegram No. 113 of December 23,55 a member of the Paraguayan delegation informed me that during the interim the Argentine suggestions, set forth in my telegram No. 109 of December 19, will be carefully considered by both Governments. He expressed to me the belief that favorable chances existed for the boundary dispute being ultimately submitted to arbitration. I have [etc.]
ROBERT WOODS BLISS
Colombia and Nicaragua
717.2114/50 : Telegram
The Minister in Nicaragua (Eberhardt) to the Secretary of State
MANAGUA, July 28, 1927—4 p. m.
[Received 7:45 p. m.] 181. The Colombian Minister has just returned to Managua and states that he expected to revive with the Nicaraguan Government
the question of the San Andrés Archipelago. I have discussed the subject with Diaz who informs me that he favors the settlement proposed by Colombia as set forth in the Department's instruction 212 directed to Secretary Thurston under date of March 25 , 1925 57 and if the Department so desires will instruct Minister for Foreign Affairs to commence preliminary negotiations with Colombian Minister tending toward such settlement.
Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State (White)
[WASHINGTON,] August 1, 1927.
SETTLEMENT OF TERRITORIAL QUESTION BETWEEN COLOMBIA AND
The Colombian Minister called on Monday, August 1, at my request. I told him that in the course of the last three or four years when we were discussing together the settlement of the boundary between Colombia and Panama and the boundaries between Colombia and Peru and Colombia and Brazil he had said that when these were finished Colombia would have but one outstanding territorial question, namely, that with Nicaragua which he would like to have settled here also. I told him that the Department had now received a telegram from the Legation in Nicaragua, stating that the Colombian Minister had just returned to Managua and had said that he expects to reopen this question with the Nicaraguan Government. The matter had been discussed between President Diaz and the American Minister and it seemed possible that Nicaragua might request the views of this Government regarding the matter.
I reminded the Minister that some two years ago the question had come up and that Colombia had then suggested a settlement by which Colombia would withdraw her claim and would recognize Nicaraguan sovereignty over the Mosquito Coast and Great and Little Corn Islands if Nicaragua, in return, would recognize Colombian sovereignty over the Islands of San Andrés and Providencia. Nicaragua had declined such a settlement and had stated in return that Nicaragua could not discuss the Mosquito Coast nor Great and Little Corn Islands, which must be recognized as Nicaraguan, but would be willing to arbitrate the question of San Andrés and Providencia. So far as I knew, this matter had not progressed further, but I presumed this had not been accepted by Colombia as Colombia was now opening the matter further.
* Foreign Relations, 1925, vol. I, p. 431.