810.20 Defense/1177: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Colombia ( Braden )

241. Your 312, July 31, 3 p.m. The Department’s telegram no. 234 of August 5, 5 p.m. replies to the points made in your telegram no. 304.

The Department cannot believe that any governmental authorities informed Colonels Tamayo and Buenaventura that free funds would be available under the Lend Lease program for construction work provided this was carried out by American firms. Since it is impossible to provide free funds under the Lend Lease law no limitations have ever been formulated or suggested. As stated, however, in the Department’s telegram no. 234 the War and Navy Departments might be persuaded to request the President to make an allocation out of his emergency defense funds in order to provide free funds for construction activity of an unequivocal defense character. The statement is repeated, however, that the Department is not convinced that the construction activity which the Colombian military and naval authorities have in mind is essential to the defense of United States.