Memorandum by the Under Secretary of State (Phillips)

The Peruvian Ambassador informed me of a telegram which he had received from his Government which reported the receipt in Lima of a message from the Peruvian Minister in Colombia. This message was to the effect that there now seemed to be danger of the Colombian Legislature adjourning without taking any action on the Rio Protocol. Up to recently the Minister had reported that there was a favorable majority for the passage of the Protocol, but that the latest developments, which were probably the result of some local political maneuver, indicated that the Rio Protocol would be shelved in this way. The Ambassador said that he had been instructed to ask the Department whether, in the circumstances, we would be willing to send a message to our Minister in Bogotá urging that the Protocol be disposed of and not shelved. This action, continued the Ambassador, would not be taken in the interest of Peru, but in the peaceful adjustment of the whole situation. The Ambassador went on to explain the importance of the passage of the Protocol; that further delays would be most unfortunate, and that some of the people involved in the Leticia district were “straining at the leash”; Peru was just beginning to show signs of economic recovery, and anything to upset these favorable signs would be most unfortunate. The Ambassador assumed that other Latin American countries had received similar requests to register an expression of their hopes in Bogotá, but he had no direct information on this subject. I said that I should be happy to give the matter consideration, and would telephone him the decision when we had arrived at it.

William Phillips