The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Colombia (Braden)
215. With reference to the coffee quota plan now under discussion, the Colombian delegate has stated that his Government will accept the plan provided Colombia receives a quota equivalent to 20 percent of the total quota for the United States market. The present plan provides for Colombian participation in the United States market equivalent to 19.81 percent of the total.
Your earlier reports have made clear the political difficulties faced by the Colombian Government in this as in other matters. It would be interesting to know, however, how the proposed plan is viewed by Colombians more closely associated with the coffee trade. Considering that this slight difference is apparently all that prevents final agreement on the quota plan, is it possible that coffee growers, including those of the Conservative Party, might criticize the Government for failure to conclude an agreement, even one based on 19.81 percent of the United States market. In other words, would the advantages of a coffee agreement in the opinion of coffee growers outweigh the disadvantages of the slight reduction from the 20 percent quota desired by the Government. Please telegraph your best judgment on this point.