821.6363 Barco/107: Telegram

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


37. Your telegram No. 54, July 5, 4 p.m., second sentence. With reference to the President’s statement that there was still recourse to the Supreme Court, the attorneys for the oil company stated that it was their understanding that the matter could not be taken to the Supreme Court by the Colombian Government, and could only be taken by the company when the decree of expropriation had been confirmed, and that the matter, therefore, was still an administrative one. The Colombian Government has not confirmed the decree and it has not answered the company’s memorial of more than two years ago. The Department has asked the Government to answer the memorial, which apparently the Government is not going to do. There have been no indications that the Government will confirm the decree of expropriation. The matter still appears to be one which can now be settled only through administrative action. The Colombian Government has prohibited the company from operating the concession, and unless it takes action administratively, the company is prevented from making use of its property. Please cable the Department whether this sets forth the situation correctly, and if it does, you may tell the Foreign Minister and/or the President that it is the feeling of the Department that this is a matter eminently subject to diplomatic action.