The Colombian Minister to the Secretary of State.
Washington, March 16, 1909.
Sir: Referring to the ratification by Colombia of the treaties concluded with the United States of America and Panama, I beg to inform your excellency as follows:
On the 8th instant I had a cable from Bogota stating that the treaties should be presented immediately to the national assembly, with a very elaborate report from the committee demanding their immediate ratification without modification. The cable added that the Government expected the treaties should be approved by the unanimous vote of the assembly. I did not hear anything else until the evening of the 14th instant, when I received a cable stating that the Government had decided, in view of numerous manifestations of public opinion in the country, to suspend the consideration of the treaties by the national assembly and submit them to a new-elected Congress, that should be called for immediately. The cable adds that the Government expected by this process to obtain a more solemn approval of the whole nation. There was a strong opinion in favor of the treaties, and the Government were exercising their best endeavors, feeling confident that they should be approved. The Government desires to inform you of the contents of this cable.
On receiving this cable I felt very uneasy and became sure that something had taken place which had altered the course of the business as I had been previously advised.
I immediately cabled, demanding explanation, expressing my regret at the change advised, and urging for an immediate answer.
On the following day, yesterday, the secretary of the legation called on Mr. Wilson to inquire if you had any news.
Mr. Wilson was good enough to give us a copy of the cable you had received. It appeared evident that my surmise was correct, and that something serious had happened. So far I have received no further news which I am expecting instantly.
I beg, however, to call your attention to the fact, which is apparent by the contents of the cables mentioned, that the Government continues strenuously to bring about the final approval of the treaties, assuming energetic action on the matter in a loyal and straightforward manner.
I am expecting further developments; meanwhile my opinion is that although a little later than was anticipated the treaties will be approved without any modification whatever.
I have, etc.,