711.21/507: Telegram

The Minister in Colombia (Philip) to the Secretary of State

146. Referring to my cable of October 2, noon. The Minister for Foreign Affairs visited me last evening and said that he had been in conference with the Senate for 5 hours until 8 o’clock with the result that a proposition presented by him after being somewhat altered in the course of the debate was voted on in open session and approved unanimously. The Minister said that he confidently hoped that this action by the Colombian Senate, which had the full approval of President Suarez, would have the effect of meeting the requirements of the Government of the United States and would render the suggested [Page 750]protocol unnecessary. He further said that the action taken would undoubtedly react in a highly beneficial manner upon the excited public opinion in this country. I expressed disappointment that this definite step had been taken without previous reference to the Department and Dr. Guzman replied that the excitement and the suspicion of his Government’s policy in Congress and among the public were such as rendered the course taken imperative. While the tone of this document, a translation of which follows, may give rise to criticism in the United States, yet the declaration embodied in the last paragraph is evidently intended as a concession to the attitude of our Senate and I would be glad to learn that it could be accepted as a guarantee of good faith by our Government to the extent of expediting action upon the treaty by the Senate. It seems to be generally thought here that this step taken by the Colombian Senate in conjunction with the Government has very greatly improved the situation for the latter.

Following is translation of Senate declaration date of the 3d instant:

“The Senate of the Republic has learned with surprise and with profound regret that it has been said in the Senate of the United States that Colombia must ratify the obligations contracted by her with the world, to always respect rights acquired by foreign citizens or subjects. The political constitution of the Nation as a civilized people guarantees these rights, our public law has always guaranteed them, and commercial and civil relations of the Colombian and the American peoples are regulated by the principles of international law and by the stipulations of the treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation of December 12th, 1846. Under article 13 of this pact both contracting parties agreed, ‘to extend reciprocally their special protection to the persons and properties of each one of them,’ and Colombia has been constantly loyal in her compliance with this and other stipulations, but an administration of the United States violated article 35’ of this convention.

The treaty of April 6th 1914 was signed in order to make a partial reparation of the damages which Colombia has sustained and the President of the United States of America has addressed himself to the world relative to the justice [of] this reparation and again placed in relief the rights of Colombia.

The Senate of Republic of Colombia declares before the world the firmness with which the Nation maintains and will maintain, now and forever, for its honor, respect for the rights of all foreigners, a firmness with which it will always maintain its independence and “sovereignty and with which it will uphold its rights.”

Philip