821.6363/392: Telegram

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

22. Your 31 May 17, 11 a.m. Department approves your taking up the matter with the President and desires you to hand him a memorandum textually as follows:

“The attention of the Government of the United States has been called to Law 84 of 1927 and Decree 150 of January 28, 1928, and to action taken thereunder in relation to the operation in Colombia of petroleum enterprises in which American nationals are interested. The American interests concerned believe that the application of certain parts of the aforementioned measures would seriously interfere with their legitimate activities and call in question the title to their properties. It further appears that Colombian citizens have laid before the highest judicial authorities of Colombia for determination the question whether certain portions of the aforementioned measures are constitutional.

Since it appears that the application of these measures will work serious inquiry [injury?] to American interests, the American Minister has been instructed by the Secretary of State of the United States urgently to request the Colombian Government to suspend the application of the measures in question until their constitutionality can be duly considered by the appropriate authorities of Colombia.

The American oil companies earnestly desire to cooperate with the Colombian Government in good faith to contribute to the constructive development of the natural resources of Colombia. In view of the very large investments these companies have already made in Colombia, the Government of the United States feels that it is only just that further consideration be given to these measures before the effort is made to place them in effect.”

You should supplement the foregoing with vigorous oral representations following the lines of Department’s 9, February 18, 7 p.m.

Telegraph result of your representations and also concerning attitude of your colleagues of countries whose nationals are interested in petroleum development in Colombia.