The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in Colombia (Philip)
The Department of Commerce is anxious to obtain permission from the Government of Colombia to erect aids to navigation, one on the eastern or southern part of Old Providence Island and the other on one of the Courtown Cays. Should permission be accorded the lights will be unwatched lights exhibited from the tops of small, steel skeleton towers about 40 feet high, placed on concrete blocks. The area required for each tower will be a small tract of land about 50 feet square. The lights may be placed in charge of the proper local officer of the government of each island. The United States will pay all expenses of erecting and maintaining the lights, including the pay for such local services of attendance as is required. The lights would require inspection probably two or three times a year by a representative of the Lighthouse Service of this country, but otherwise it would not be necessary for the United States to have any employee at the light station, except such service as would be employed locally.
You will immediately ask the Government of Colombia if it will be kind enough to permit the erection of these lights which it is believed will greatly facilitate navigation in the waters near these islands and will minimize the danger at present attendant upon such navigation.
You will also inform the Government of Colombia that this request does not signify the taking of any attitude on the part of the United States Government toward the various claims concerning the sovereignty of the islands in question.