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Foreign Affairs: Peruvian Memorial

2 minute read

The mumblings from South America became distinct, last week, when a Peruvian memorial on the Tacna-Arica dispute between Chile and Peru (TiME, Mar. 16 et seq.) was received by the U. S. State Department and forwarded to President Coolidge. Peru, long incensed by the treatment of her citizens in Tacna and Arica, suggested threefold amendments of the terms of the U. S. President’s arbitral award as follows:

1) That the Chilean Army be replaced by U. S. troops during the hold-ing of the plebiscite in the two provinces, or that a police force re-cruited from the indigenous population be substituted.

2) That Peruvians expelled from the provinces by Chile and who were resident there for five years or more be permitted to vote in the plebiscite which is to decide whether the provinces are to remain Chilean or to revert to Peru.

3) That Peruvians found guilty by Chileans of criminal offenses (allegedly “trumped up”) be retried; and that all found not guilty be allowed to vote.

President Coolidge promptly made known his views in regard to these points:

1) That he personally, not the U. S. Government, was responsible for the award−therefore there was no question of employing U. S. troops.

2) That the Plebiscitary Commission (headed by General Pershing) not the arbitrator (Mr. Coolidge) was authorized and empowered to deal with such complaints.

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