821.6363/492: Telegram

The Chargé in Colombia (Matthews) to the Secretary of State

121. My 120, October 4, 2 p.m. Owing to death of ex-President Gonzalez Valencia, Congress took no action upon committee reports yesterday. Nuevo Tiempo this morning states Tropical has invested large sums and worked in good faith developing Colombian petroleum industry and since it was organized only in 1919 no blame is attachable to it for previous irregularities. Hence to make it suffer consequences thereof would be unjust. The silence of other papers and El Tiempo’s failure to give report further editorial comment is significant as indicating unfavorable reaction of public. The reports may be referred to Permanent Hydrocarbon Committee of the House of Representatives for further study, which would leave matter in the air, unsatisfactory from Tropical’s point of view.

[Paraphrase.] I am reliably informed that the Minister of Industry yesterday requested the Congressman who had introduced the motion summoning him to appear, to withdraw the said motion. He stated that he did not desire to go before Congress on that matter. Since the Congressman refused to withdraw his motion, the Minister of Industry will probably appear today. [End paraphrase.]