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refusing to go to the plebiscite twenty-eight years after the date fixed, and suggested that the whole question of the Southern Pacific be arbitrated by the United States. Chile in reply did not directly refuse arbitration, but invited Peru to continue direct negotiations, and an interchange of diplomatic notes ensued with the result that, after the exchange of a half dozen notes, Chile had indicated her willingness to submit to the arbitration of the United States the manner in which the plebiscite, provided for in Clause III of the treaty of Ancon, should be held. Peru, on the other hand, contended that the plebiscite formula was no longer tenable, owing to the lapse of time and the wholesale deportations of Peruvians, and, therefore, urged that, instead of confining arbitration to the question proposed by Chile, the entire controversy be handed over to the decision of some arbitral tribunal.
In the meantime, Bolivia had approached the governments of both Peru and Chile through diplomatic channels, proposing a tripartite arbitration wherein Bolivian claims would be considered along with those of Peru and Chile. Chile refused the Bolivian request. Peru, on the other hand, advised Bolivia that the proposal was entirely satisfactory, providing the agreement of Chile to a tripartite could be secured. At this point the President of the United States sent an invitation to Chile and Peru to appoint representatives to meet in Washington for the purpose of considering their problem in direct conference.
Negotiations leading to the Washington Conference were opened by a telegram directed by the Chilean Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Peruvian Government on December 12, 1921. In his message Senor Barros Jarpa recalled the provision of the Convention of 1912 according to which the plebiscite was to be postponed until 1933. “But,” said he, "such postponement was equivalent to the maintenance in America, in latent form, of a cause of possible international conflict, obliging Peru and Chile, and perhaps other countries, to burden themselves with heavy expenses for military preparations in these moments when the great changes brought about by the World War invite the nations of this continent to dedicate their best efforts to the development and increase of their natural riches.” The fact that Chile exercised its sovereignty over Tacna and Arica according to the treaty of Ancon, said he, would make it advantageous for her to postpone the plebiscite in view of the natural increase of her interests in the course of years; but she was ready to accept a nearer date for the plebiscite than 1933. She, therefore, invited Peru to carry into effect the proposal of 1912.
Peru's reply, dated December 17, 1921, expressed surprise at the receipt of a direct telegraphic communication from Chile in view of the following facts.
1. That diplomatic relations between Chile and Peru had been interrupted since 1910.
2. This rupture had been made more serious since 1918 by the withdrawal of the Peruvian consular agents, due to violent persecution and wholesale expulsion of Peruvians resident in the territories of Tacna, Arica, and Tarapaca. Peru had good reason to suppose that, within the diplomatic practice to which all countries are subject, a means of renewing the conventional diplomatic relations would have been sought.
3. The method of the plebiscite was regulated in the protocol of April 16, 1898, which was approved by the Peruvian Congress and the Chilean Senate. Peru could not now sanction the protocol inasmuch as the greater part of the stipulations of the treaty had been violated by Chile.
4. Chile had asserted that the bases of her proposal to Peru in 1912, namely, a postponement of the plebiscite until 1933; the election board to consist of five delegatestwo Chileans, two Peruvians, and the Chief Justice of Chile, presiding; all natives and all those resident for three years in the territory who could read and write to be allowed to vote, were inspired by principles equal to those established for plebiscitary acts contemplated in the Treaty of Versailles. In the latter acts the first care was to safeguard the liberty of the ballot in respect to the authority which should guarantee it, its execution and its canvass; whereas, even after the wholesale expulsion of the Peruvian population and the claim that the plebiscite be held under Chilean direction, the Chilean authorities in Tacna, Arica and Tarata had for over a month been busy inducing the inhabitants of all nationalities resident in those Peruvian provinces to sign printed blanks containing an agreement to vote in Chile's favor for the definite annexation of those territories.
Señor Salomon, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, again expressed Peru's desire to come upon a just solution of the Pacific question. At Geneva Chile had refused to deal with the difference between Chile and Bolivia on the grounds that they constituted an American problem. In harmony with this criterion, Peru now invited Chile to submit jointly the whole question of the Southern Pacific to the arbitrament of the Government of the United States of America.
Chile's second note to the Government of Peru, December 20, 1921, replied that direct communication had been sougết because all worthy means of seeking a settlement of her difficulties with Peru had been deemed useful and proper, and that there had been attributed to Peru the same generous and frank desire to solve the pending difficulties that moved the Chilean Government. It was recalled, furthermore, that in 1920, when the Chilean Government sent to Lima an ex-minister of foreign affairs, hoping to renew the interrupted relations, that he was not fortunate enough to be received by the President of Peru, His Excellency, Señor Leguia. At the same time, Chile indicated her refusal to submit for arbitration the entire question of the Treaty of Ancon.
In reply, December 23, Peru brought forward a statement of the expulsion of Peruvians from Tacna, Arica and Tarapaca, of the burning of property in Pisaqua and Iquique and of the incorporation of the borax region of Chilcaya in the territory permanently ceded to Chile, notwithstanding the judgment of experts, judges and the Chilean courts that it belonged to Arica. “With such antecedents,” the message reads, "which have most deeply wounded the national spirit, all direct understanding between Peru and Chile has become impossible.” Peru repeated her request that all questions arising out of the violation of the treaty of 1883 be subjected to arbitration, disagreeing with Chile that only Clause 3 of the Treaty of Ancon was in dispute; for the very reason that disagreement existed as to what should be the subject of arbitration, therefore the entire question should be the subject of arbitration.
The third telegram was directed by Chile to the Peruvian Government on December 26, 1921. It suggested that in the course of direct conversations misunderstandings would disappear which at present opposed themselves to the complete renewal of commercial and political relations between the two nations. Only to long diplomatic controversy and to unfounded jealousy and suspicion were due the charge of Chile's having broken several clauses of the treaty of 1883; and doubtless this suspicion could be dissipated by the contact of plenipotentiaries in Washington, since evidence could be produced sufficient to prove that it resulted only from an atmosphere of animosity. “The treaty of 1883, called by the Peruvian Minister to Chile in 1908, His Excellency, Señor Seoane, 'the force of international law' will be carried out by my government in all its parts,” said Señor Barros. Accordingly, a mission should be appointed by Chile in accord with that accredited by the Peruvian Government, that a settlement of the pending difficulties might be reached.
To this note the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Peru replied on December 28 that his government did not propose to negotiate directly in Washington merely in order to arrive at an agreement on the differences concerning the plebiscite only, nor to renew direct discussions on a matter so long treated in this manner without success. On the contrary, the proposal was reiterated for complete arbitration, jointly, and solemnly, with representatives from Chile, of the treaty of 1883. Furthermore, it was proposed that simultaneous telegraphic messages be sent to the American Government asking consent to hold the conference in Washington with the President of the United States as arbiter.
The fourth and last telegram sent by Chile on December 29, 1921, recalled the fact that by the Treaty of Ancon
Tarapaca had been assigned to Chile in perpetuity and unconditionally and that the ultimate dominion and sovereignty of Tacna and Arica should be submitted to a plebiscite. The telegram then went on to recount how these three items were not in the treaty and should not be remembered as if they were. The plebiscite had not been held although the governments interested had arrived at an agreement with respect to its bases and essential characteristics. Regret was expressed that Peru had indicated that “Full arbitration” was the only means of reaching an agreement, so that thirty-six years after its occurrence, the result of the War of the Pacific was to be submitted to arbitration. Peru had, therefore, refused the invitation of Chile to arrive at a friendly solution of the form of the plebiscite, offering in exchange a “Full arbitration” which to the Chilean Government seemed impossible from its very vagueness. Therefore, the Chilean Government would cease to consider further plans for a settlement by arbitration.
To this communication the Peruvian Government replied on December 31, defending its proposal that all the questions at issue be submitted to arbitration on the ground - that the untold horrors of the War of the Pacific still kept alive in the minds of the Peruvians the unjust peace which had ended it. Doubt was thrown upon the zeal and sincerity of Chile by a historical survey of the events occurring in the province since 1883. The Government of Peru asserted that it did not claim that the results of the War of the Pacific, ended thirty-seven years previously, should be submitted at this time to arbitration. The infractions on the part of Chile of that treaty which she imposed by force and which were only carried out should be settled.
In the interval between the first and second Chilean notes, summarized above, namely, on December 20, 1921, Bolivia had addressed a telegram simultaneously to Chile and Peru, asserting her right to a part in a just settlement of the peace of 1883 which had deprived her of her seaport. She claimed that by Article XIX of the Treaty of Versailles, she should be given consideration in any final settlement