The Chargé in Colombia (Dawson) to the Acting Secretary of State

No. 5980

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s telegram No. 77 of November 22, 2 p.m., in regard to the raising by the Colombian Minister at Washington of the question of obtaining a larger “quota” for imports of petroleum into the United States from Colombia, and to the Legation’s despatch No. 5971 of November 24, 1933, in reply thereto. Mr. H. A. Metzger, executive representative of the Tropical Oil Company and the Andian National Corporation, admitted on November 26, 1933, that the principal purpose of the recent visit to Bogotá of Captain J. W. Flanagan, President of the Andian National Corporation, had been to endeavor to have the Colombian Government take certain action in connection with the proposed trade agreement between the United States and Colombia.

Mr. Metzger said that Captain Flanagan had suggested to President Olaya that the Colombian Government ask for a reduction in or the elimination of American tariff rates on petroleum imported from Colombia; that he (Flanagan) thought that such a request would be reasonable in view of the reduction in Colombian rates on a number of American articles provided for in the agreement; and that if the American rates were lowered it would be good business for the oil companies and for the Colombian Government, which would receive larger royalties.

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Mr. Metzger stated that Captain Flanagan had not had in mind any action by the Colombian Government in connection with the order of the Department of the Interior restricting the volume of petroleum imports, realizing fully the nature of the order. He remarked that the Colombian authorities must either have misunderstood Captain Flanagan’s suggestion or substituted an idea of their own.

Respectfully yours,

Allan Dawson