821.20/214: Telegram

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

1085. For Under Secretary. My 1072, August 19, 5 p.m.29 President López informed me this afternoon Senate Foreign Affairs Committee this morning “substantially approved” project for emergency naval seaplane base at Cartagena as well as maintenance of our military and naval observers in different sections of the country. López said he expects to obtain concrete approval at meeting of Commission to be held tomorrow.

…López said he informed Commission that our Government had made no intimation whatever regarding steps which he should follow and had made no requests of him, and that purpose of his trip was merely to discuss matters of mutual interest. President said that Commission expressed itself very much satisfied by this statement and by our attitude of not having attempted to force Colombia to follow our wishes.

As to Cartagena base, López said it would be most useful from internal political standpoint if this could be operated in connection with sending supplies by plane to San Andrés and Providence Islands, which are critically in need of foodstuffs and medicinal supplies. I made no definite commitment on this point but expressed the hope that some arrangement might be worked out. López said he hoped General [Page 161] Andrews might shortly visit Colombia to discuss with local officials, technical aspects of our proposed operations in Colombia (I had already invited General Andrews to visit me, at his convenience, to enable him to talk with the President and other officials of this Government). As to military and naval observers, López said that now that we have the virtual approval of the Senate and other persons in Colombia, it will be a simple matter in deciding with us on titles which they will use, but not “Assistants to the Consul”.

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Copy by courier to Panama for information of General Andrews.

  1. Not printed.