821.6363/443: Telegram

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

79. House of Representatives recently appointed a committee to inquire through Colombian Minister in Washington whether Colombians had reciprocal rights under our Constitution and laws “to acquire concessions to exploit petroleum in the United States, especially in the State of Delaware” and to make a thorough study as soon as possible of the Andian and Tropical concessions, especially documents pertaining to transfer of latter in 1919 for the purpose of “defending the interests of the Republic.”

[Paraphrase.] From a strictly confidential and thoroughly reliable source, I have learned that the President and the Ministry of Industry have instructed the committee to make every effort to discover some possible basis whereby the aforesaid concession could be declared forfeit, and that with regard to Tropical’s concession such basis might be found on grounds of novation, in view of the changes which were made at the request of the Government at the time of transfer of the concession to Tropical. [End paraphrase.]