611.2131/207: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Colombia (Washington)

58. Your 69, September 1, 2.00 p.m. Please ascertain and report promptly by cable details of the legislative and administrative steps at present necessary to put trade agreement into effect in Colombia. In particular, advise on the following questions:

Does agreement have to be approved by the House and Senate;
Is it customary to debate the provisions in open session or in secret;
Is agreement required to pend before Congress for a specified period:
Is the President required to proclaim or otherwise officially publish the agreement after approval of the Congress and if so within what time limit;
Can President proclaim or otherwise put into effect the agreement after Congress adjourns.

For your confidential information this Government prefers that the terms of the trade agreement with Colombia should not be made public until after a trade agreement with Brazil has been signed. Should it appear that negotiations with Brazil cannot be concluded prior to the first week in November, the Department may consider suggesting to the Colombian Government (1) that its Congress be asked to grant extraordinary power to the President specifically to conclude a trade agreement with the United States within his discretion, or (2) that the provisions of Law No. 35 of 19325 be reenacted for the duration of a reasonable period. You are requested, if possible, to ascertain discreetly whether if a bill granting the authority mentioned in the first proposition were considered by the Colombian Congress it would be necessary for the Congress openly to discuss the terms of the pending agreement during the debates on such bill.

  1. Colombia, Diario Oficial, November 5, 1932, p. 417.