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

No. 3056

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s instruction no. 830 of August 9, 1941 (file no. 821.24/126 [140]) enclosing a draft note for me to submit to President Santos in connection with his proposal to formalize through an exchange of notes the recommendations made by the General Staffs of Colombia and the United States in pursuance of the Staff conversations held in Bogotá during September 1940.

President Santos after studying the Department’s draft advised me on September 9 that he found it entirely satisfactory, subject to the change which begins on line 7, page 2, and would make the balance of that page read as follows:

“They include such measures as liaison between the military and naval staffs of each country for the defense of the American hemisphere, this liaison comprising complete and effective exchange of information relative to continental security, permission for visits of medical officers, and the establishment of adequate channels of communication. In addition, each country agrees to adopt appropriate measures relative to coast patrols and to render the other suitable assistance of a military nature within the scope of its resources, legal authorizations or available means, such as the training of personnel and the lending of technical advisers.”

The President preferred not to mention specifically the visit to Colombia of aerial photographers and observed that this contingency could be arranged readily under the provision looking to “the lending of technical advisers”. …

The alterations made by the President, while rendering the exchange of notes slightly more general, do not appear important, and it is entirely possible that were the reference to aerial photographers to remain it might give some rise to opposition in Congress.

On September 18 the President delivered to me a draft of the note which he proposed as the Minister of Foreign Relations’ reply to the note drafted by the Department. (copy enclosed)50 Dr. Santos observed that he felt it was best to omit all reference to reservations made by the War Department (see Department’s strictly confidential instruction no. 500 of January 14, 194150), since they consisted merely of clarifications in form rather than in substance.

Should the Department care to make any further alterations in either its draft or in that prepared by President Santos, I request that I be specifically instructed in the premises, preferably by telegraph, [Page 28] in order that I may endeavor to induce the President’s acceptance of such changes. On the other hand, if the Department desires no changes beyond those made by President Santos, I request that I be instructed so to advise the President and that I be authorized formally to complete the contemplated exchange of notes.

Respectfully yours,

Spruille Braden
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