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

No. 140

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my predecessor’s despatch No. 865 of March 13, 1922,73 to the Department’s cable message of February 6, 5 p.m.74 of the same year, relative to the concurrence of the Colombian Government in a resolution adopted by the Board of Directors of the All America Cables, Incorporated, on January 30, 1922, whereby it renounces certain preferential rights held in Colombia and other countries in favor of American and British cable companies. On March 13, last, the British Minister called on me and left a memorandum, copy of which is enclosed herewith,75 intimating that the Colombian Government had not yet acquiesced in the waiver of the All America Cables, but would so acquiesce when such waiver was presented to it.

[Page 282]

Upon reviewing the past correspondence on this subject, I found that a petition had been presented to the Colombian Government by the Banco Mercantil Americano de Colombia, accompanied by a copy of the resolution of the Board of Directors above referred to, and the acquiescence of the Government to the waiver contained therein, requested. On March 9, 1922, the Colombian Minister of Government (Interior) addressed a communication, copy of which was enclosed in despatch No. 865 above mentioned, to this Legation stating that in response to the petition of the representative of the All America Cables, his Ministry had issued a resolution, in part as follows:

“Ministry of Government—Section 2—National Telephones and telegraphs—Bogota, March 3, 1922 …76 Be it resolved:—The Government of Colombia finds no legal impediment to the renunciation by the All America Cables, Incorporated, which is the subject of the resolution of the 30th of last January, of the Company mentioned, and consequently, the latter may make the renunciation referred to in the petition, in favor of American and British Cable Companies; it being thoroughly understood that, according to the contract in force, Article I of which is copied above, the latter terminates the 25th day of August, 1924. It is hereby ordered that the above communication [be communicated] to the interested party and that notice thereof be given to His Excellency the Minister of the United States of America, as is requested. (Signed) The Minister, V. M. Salazar”

Copies of notes exchanged between myself and the British Minister in the premises are enclosed herewith77 and from statements made by the latter, it would appear that the Colombian Government does not consider that the action taken by it amounts to a concurrence in the renunciation of rights made by the American Company.

In the circumstances I have concluded to acquaint the Department with the facts that it may, if it sees fit, suggest to the Cable Company that, in order to avoid further delay or correspondence, it might be well for it to file with the Colombian Government a formal waiver of its preferential or exclusive rights.

Samuel H. Piles
  1. Not printed; see the Minister’s telegram no. 15, Mar. 11, 1922, Foreign Relations, 1922, vol. i, p. 525.
  2. ibid., p. 521, footnote 42.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Omission indicated on original despatch.
  5. Not printed.