721.23/2424: Telegram

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

7. My telegram No. 6, January 8, 4 p.m. The British Government has instructed its Minister to tell Colombian Minister for Foreign Affairs that the Council of the League of Nations will meet next week and it might be advisable for Colombia to be prepared at that time to state that it has ratified Rio de Janeiro protocol or that it will ratify it before some given date. The British Government expressed confidentially to its Minister its preference that the Colombian Government set the date rather than that it be set by a third party. The telegram also stated that if the Colombian Government does express its belief that ratification will be obtained before a certain date, the British Government, if the United States and Brazil do likewise, will use all of its efforts to persuade Peru to agree to an extension of the time limit to that day.

I believe the above procedure to be the wisest with regard to Colombia. A suggestion by the League of Nations that the time limit be extended to January 31st as suggested by the British Minister would necessitate that the Colombian Government secure senatorial action during the Presidency of Lozano in the Senate. Although there are indications that many Conservative Senators would now like to see the protocol pass, yet the President of the Senate might be able to prolong the discussion and postpone the voting beyond that date.

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It is the opinion not only of myself but also of all the other interested diplomats that the principal cause of the difficulties with the pact here has been and is the failure of President Lopez to assume any responsibilities of leadership in securing ratification. I talked with ex-President Olaya in his country home last night and he informed me that he would come to Bogotá next Tuesday and exert all his forces toward making the President see the necessity of taking some positive action. I am hopeful that the public appeal on the part of the League of Nations, combined with personal intervention of Olaya, will produce desired results.