811.20 Defense (M) Colombia/66: Telegram

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

617. Referring to Department’s 514, May 5, 8 p.m. I went over the rubber situation in detail with Santos this afternoon and emphasized the great importance which the United States Government attaches to it.

The President said that he could not give me a final commitment as to the best refiner price without discussing the matter with the Minister of Economy. He hopes to inform the Department, however, that he accepts our proposal in principle namely, to sell all surplus rubber and manufactured rubber goods to the United States and to place an embargo on rubber exports pending negotiations. He specifically stated that under no condition would Colombia sell rubber output to any country other than the United States.

He said that while the López58 Administration would of course honor any commitments made by Santos government he felt that as he [Page 177] has only 3 months more in office it would be only fair to the President-elect if I should discuss the matter also with him. He said he would summon López at once and tell him that he had agreed in principle to our proposal. I have an appointment to see López Monday.59

  1. Alfonso López was elected on May 3, 1942, to succeed Eduardo Santos as President of Colombia; he took office on August 7.
  2. May 11.