721.23/2186: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Peru ( Bearing )

31. Your 45, April 10, 11 p.m. The Peruvian Ambassador was informed by the Department yesterday that the contracts which had originally been entered into by the Colombian Consul General in New York with American aviators have been withdrawn and cancelled as the result of representations made to the Colombian Government by our Government that such contracts involved a violation of our neutrality laws. The Ambassador was also informed that the Colombian Government has been further advised that this Government was strongly opposed to the employment of American aviators by Colombia in any capacity but that if the Colombian Government nevertheless engaged the services of American aviators to go as civilian instructors, any contracts which might in the future be entered into with our citizens for such purpose must contain a clause specifically providing for the automatic cancellation of such contracts in the event that Colombia engages in hostilities with any other country.

Freyre was also told that we desired to offer every assistance both to Colombia and to Perú in the cause of peace in any way which the two Governments might deem proper to accept, but that we could not offer any assistance in preparations for war to either nation. An identical statement was made to the Minister of Colombia.

You may repeat these assurances to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and say that our refusal to facilitate preparations for war by either Government has been maintained and will be maintained with the utmost impartiality.

You may further repeat, as emphatically as possible, that this Government is animated by the most sincere friendship for the Government of Peru, as it is for the Government of Colombia. It is surprised that there could be any question of this fact on the part of the President of Perú and of the members of his Cabinet and that it feels sure that when due consideration is given to the fact that we have refused all facilities which might assist any warlike preparations both to [Page 381] Colombia and Perú with absolute impartiality, any misapprehension which may have existed on this point will be dispelled.