811.822/54: Telegram

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

71. My May 7th, 11 a.m.70 Note dated 15th instant from Minister for Foreign Affairs states that subsequent to 1915 Government purchased abroad towers, et cetera, for construction of lighthouses on Pacific and Atlantic littoral, and especially in Archipelago of San Andres and Providence, but that owing to war restrictions in the United States it has been impossible to obtain them; that in 1917 the United States Government appropriated various of these supplies which had been prepared for shipment by the “American Gas [Accumulator Co.]”; that the Government has been in communication with the Colombia[n] Minister at Washington, who has been instructed to advise this company that the Government desires it to undertake the work of establishing lighthouses in the Archipelago as soon as the present abnormal situation has been adjusted; finally, that the Colombian Government lacks legal authority to grant to foreign Governments such permission as requested.


Proclamation No. 1522–A, June 5, 1919, of the Reservation for Lighthouse Purposes of Roncador Cay

By the President of the United States of America


Whereas, the Congress of the United States has provided by act of August 18, 1856 (11 U.S. Statutes at Large, page 119; Sees. 5570 to 5578 U.S. Revised Statutes), that whenever any citizen of the United States, after the passage of the act, discovers a deposit of guano on any island, rock, or key, not within the lawful jurisdiction of any other government and shall take peaceable possession thereof and occupy the same, the island, rock, or key may, at the discretion of the President of the United States, be considered as appertaining to the United States.

And whereas, pursuant to the foregoing act of Congress, Roncador Cay in the western part of the Caribbean Sea is now under the sole and exclusive jurisdiction of the United States and out of the jurisdiction of any other government.

[Page 798]

Now, therefore, I Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested, do hereby declare, proclaim, and make known that Roncador Cay, in the western part of the Caribbean Sea, be and the same is reserved for lighthouse purposes, such reservation being deemed necessary in the public interests, subject to such legislative action as the Congress of the United States may take with respect thereto.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Woodrow Wilson

By the President:
William Phillips
Acting Secretary of State.

  1. Not printed.