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

No. 1743

Sir: Referring to my recent reports concerning Dr. Olaya Herrera’s interviews with American oil representatives, and with special reference to my despatch No. 1740 of October 8, concerning a visit of Mr. R. I. Dodson of the Andian National Corporation, I have the honor to report that on Tuesday Mr. Dodson and Mr. Metzger of the Tropical had a two-hour interview with the President, when, as Mr. Metzger expressed it, he had “delivered a two-hour lecture on oil to Doctors Olaya, Carlos E. Restrepo, Chaux and Luis Felipe Latorre”; he had been permitted to present his full views on a new oil bill.

Both Metzger and Dodson were highly pleased with the interview and felt that they had made a good impression. They were especially pleased with the attitude of the Minister of Government (Mr. Haskell had made a similar comment): Dr. Restrepo, during the discussions, upon several occasions took issue with Dr. Chaux in a sense favorable to the American oil companies.

However, Dr. Olaya Herrera did not show them the oil bill (Dodson does not know, of course, of the part that Metzger has had in drafting amendments to the bill; Dr. Olaya knows it, but acted as if he didn’t; the Ministers of Government and Industries know nothing of it, apparently).

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Mr. Metzger took occasion to state to me how pleased he was also with the attitude of Luis Felipe Latorre. (Having in mind my despatch No. 1724 of October 4, 1930, I asked Mr. Metzger whether Latorre were not attorney for the Unión Colombiana de Petróleos. Mr. Metzger said that he didn’t think he was; that he might have handled legal matters for them upon various occasions, but he was not their regular attorney; that, in any event, even if he were, he did not believe he would allow that to influence him in a sense prejudicial to the American oil interests.)

Respectfully yours,

Jefferson Caffery