721.23/2446: Telegram

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

20. The Colombian Government is very much alarmed because in answer to a telegram which was sent to its Minister at Rio de Janeiro instructing him to consult Mello Franco regarding the proper interpretation of articles 2 and 7 of the Rio de Janeiro pact the Minister replied that Mello Franco agreed with Senator Urdaneta that the International Court is not given “extraordinary powers by the pact” but said further that “he would not now advise the inclusion in the pact of the second half of article 2”. In our conversation of [the] 4th Dr. Olaya said that if the second part of this message should be made public in Colombia it would mean the final defeat of all efforts to obtain approval of the pact without amendments. He believes [Page 211] Mello Franco was misquoted and he asked me whether it would be possible for the former Brazilian Minister for Foreign Affairs to be advised confidentially by American diplomatic representatives in Rio de Janeiro of the Colombian anxiety over his reported statement. He hopes Mello Franco will correct the impression which he gave to the Colombian Minister before the contents of the latter’s telegram leaked out. I replied to Dr. Olaya that as the matter was an extremely delicate one I could only report it to the State Department without any promise as to whether Mello Franco could be approached. He asked me to report it by cable.