821.51/985: Telegram

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


88. Your 45, June 22, 7 p.m. The position of President Olaya is that aside from carrying out the bankers’ conditions he has carried out a constructive program worth a great many millions to American interests, such as the Catatumbo contract and the oil law, and he can show an extensive list of other valuable favors done. As I have tried to explain, he forced the Barco contract through Congress at great cost to himself … I have never known the President to exhibit … so much feeling as now over this new demand of the bankers immediately following the approval of that contract.

I think this may be a test as to whether or not the President shall go on with his present policy of enthusiastic cooperation with the United States, thus far so amazingly successful. The dollars and cents have little to do with the matter although the President would certainly question the justice of his having to pay cable charges largely as a result of quibbling by bankers and the expenses of the resident representative of the National City Bank, or Jefferson …

I think, therefore, that President Olaya would resent paying any part of these expenditures, especially as the knowledge of the payment could not be kept from the public.