821.6363/507: Telegram

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


130. My telegram No. 127, October 11, 11 a.m.,5 and previous correspondence. I have been reliably informed that the Minister of Finance proposed to the Council of Ministers that the Government issue a statement that it considers the Tropical Oil Company concession a valid one; that the proposal was defeated, the majority favoring a policy of silence.

Yesterday the Minister of Industry called in the Tropical Oil Company representative and intimated that nothing further would be heard of the investigation committee reports if the Tropical Oil Company would accept his interpretation of clause 5 of the contract as implying the Government’s right to royalty of refined products in quantity equal to that derived from 10 percent of the crude petroleum production (which the Tropical Oil Company estimates to be the equivalent of 30 percent gross crude production). The Tropical Oil Company interprets this to be an admission of defeat by the Minister of Industry of the attempt to cancel the concession. The Committee reports and bills advocated therein will probably be [Page 603] referred to the Permanent Committee on Hydrocarbons. This will mean shelving them temporarily, but will permit the revival of the question at any time by the next Congress.

  1. Not printed.