The Secretary of War (Dern) to the Secretary of State
My Dear Mr. Secretary: Referring to recent correspondence in reference to the policy which the State Department desires followed that no facilities of any nature of this Government should be placed at the disposal of either the Government of Colombia or the Government [Page 389] of Peru which would assist them in their preparations for possible hostilities, and particularly to your letter of April 12th and my reply of April 17th, there is quoted hereunder the following radiogram received from the Governor of The Panama Canal under date of May 12th:
“In view of improvement in relations between governments of Colombia and Perú as reported by press inquire if State Department desires make change in its policy which will permit Canal to repair vessels of both countries. Colombian Consul General in Panama has asked if Canal will undertake general repairs to Colombian Government Tug Bastidas and it is understood Peruvian Government still desires use of Canal facilities for repair of some of its vessels and Colombian Government would make similar request if favorable reply probable. I suggest good relations with these governments would be aided by termination earliest possible date restriction on use of this convenient and efficient shipyard. Early action desired in order not delay reply to Colombian Consul General.”
Please advise at as early a date as practicable what reply you desire made to the above quoted radiogram.