821.6363 Barco/119: Telegram

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

40. After a careful examination of the decree and the Company’s memorial in the Barco case the Department is satisfied that the former is unjustified. You will therefore strike out the last two paragraphs beginning “Needless to say” of the note contained in the Department’s 38, July 19, 6 p.m., and substitute the following:

“Needless to say the delay of the Government in taking the action requested in the memorial mentioned is causing continued losses to the American interests concerned, who are not only prevented from proceeding with the development of the concession, but are unable to make plans for the future.

My Government having carefully examined the decree and the memorial of the Company is convinced that the decree was unjustified and should be rescinded forthwith and the Company allowed to resume possession under the concession. It would then be possible for the Company to negotiate with the Government regarding possible changes in the terms of the concession which might be mutually acceptable.”

[Paraphrase.] If you concur, you will present note in this form to the Foreign Minister. At the same time you will present the case [Page 622] informally to the President and leave a copy of the note with him. You may, in your discretion, make oral reference to the opinion expressed by the Minister of Industry as set forth in your telegram No. 61, July 23, 6 p.m., that the decree is not sustainable in its present form. During your interview with the President the Department suggests that you emphasize the point that if the grounds stated in the decree are not sufficient to sustain it, as appears to have been admitted both by the Minister of Industry and the President, then obviously the only proper course is to annul the decree. If you consider it advisable, you may also refer to the position taken by the Colombian Government with respect to the territory covered by the concession in connection with the arbitration of the Colombia-Venezuelan boundary. [End paraphrase.]