Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Emilio G. Collado of the Division of the American Republics

Participants: Señor Dr. Gabriel Turbay, Colombian Ambassador
Mr. Duggan87
Mr. Collado

The Colombian Ambassador stated that he had learned from Ambassador Braden and Mr. Duggan that the Export-Import Bank had on May 1 adopted a resolution authorizing the officers of the Bank to work out the details of the credit to the Government of Colombia. The Ambassador stated that he felt it a repetition of the difficulties of last year, at which time he stated there was confusion between the Bank and Bogotá regarding the purposes to which the credit would be put and the proportion of the credit, if any, which might be used locally. Mr. Collado indicated that the Executive Committee of the Bank had adopted its resolution in the broadest terms leaving all such [Page 62] details to be worked out between the Bank and the Government of Colombia. Mr. Collado stated that he believed those details would be worked out upon the return to Washington Sunday of Ambassador Braden. Ambassador Turbay stated that he was afraid that the initial memorandum of the President to Ambassador Braden,88 which he stated was only a preliminary proposal, was not sufficiently ample and did not request credits of sufficient magnitude. He stated that while that memorandum requested credits of U.S.$10,000,000, U.S.$7,000,000 was needed for public works, almost as much for the needs of the Ministry of Economy (which needs he did not specify), or a total of perhaps U.S.$12,000,000, and that in addition the Treasury wished some form of stabilization operation which might require immediately an additional U.S.$3,000,000, a grand total of U.S.$15,000,000.

Mr. Duggan explained to the Ambassador that we had received through Ambassador Braden a memorandum of the President of Colombia and a memorandum with respect to highways, irrigation projects, buildings, navigation, and equipment for power plants which Ambassador Turbay had submitted, and that the Department had formally requested the Export-Import Bank to act with respect to the non-military sections of these memoranda. Mr. Collado indicated that the memorandum of the President of Colombia requested slightly over U.S.$4,000,000 for military purposes, and that this had been excluded in the Department’s discussions with the Export-Import Bank. The Executive Committee of the Export-Import Bank had approved a credit of up to $6,000,000 and had been specifically informed that no additional credits would be requested by Colombia for a year or so. Mr. Duggan pointed out that the military items were to be handled in a separate phase, as the Under Secretary had explained to the Ambassador.

Mr. Collado went on to point out that the memoranda submitted indicated 7,000,000 pesos for the public works projects and that this figure plus the other figures mentioned in the detailed memorandum submitted through Ambassador Turbay checked closely with the item of slightly under U.S. six million dollars mentioned in the memorandum of the President of Colombia. Mr. Collado further pointed out that there had been no previous mention in any of the correspondence of any funds for stabilization purposes.

Ambassador Turbay stated that he did not believe his Government would accept a credit of less than U.S.$10,000,000 and did not seem impressed with the fact that that was what they would be getting, U.S.$6,000,000 for public works plus the military arrangements. [Page 63] He produced newspaper clippings from Bogotá indicating an expectation of U.S.$12,000,000 in credits. After considerable discussion, it was left that no announcements would be made by the Export-Import Bank, and no further action would be taken pending the return from Bogotá of the Ambassador, who would present upon his return the detailed requests of his Government. At that time it would be decided whether it was feasible to ask the Export-Import Bank to reconsider the whole matter.

  1. Laurence Duggan, Adviser on Political Relations.
  2. Not printed; see memorandum of April 16, by Ambassador Braden, p. 57.