810.20 Defense/1264: Telegram

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

341. For Duggan. Department’s telegrams 234 and 241. This afternoon meticulously following instructions of telegrams under reference, I discussed with President Santos possible Lease-Lend loan to Colombia.

Turbay has reported to the President that the Under Secretary had expressed hope that free funds might be obtained through R. F. C.,44 by special arrangements yet to be made by President Roosevelt particularly as some other American Republics were in an analogous position. While expressing my interest to learn of this report I said I had not received it and my purely personal reaction was that it would be imperative to base a request for free funds on a completely detailed study demonstrating that the money was essential from a purely military aspect.

The President was anxious to have the negotiations completed here but I pointed out it was impossible because more than one department in Washington was concerned and officials could not be brought to Colombia because negotiations were simultaneously proceeding there with other republics. Santos accepted with alacrity suggesting that insofar as possible complete detailed list of Colombia’s military requirements be prepared here in collaboration with the Military and Naval Attachés and Chiefs of our Military, Aviation and Naval Missions and that one or more of these officers should then accompany the Colombian officers to Washington.

President says he is now anxious to conclude discussions of this matter here next week. I should be surprised if any such speed is made.

  1. Reconstruction Finance Corporation.