800.85/525: Telegram

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

60. Your 38, January 9, 3 p.m. and your despatch no. 3468, January 3, 1942.78 Maritime Commission suggests the following: That Colombia take over the Italian tankers and deliver them to the Commission which in turn agrees to full and just compensation for the Italians in accordance with the principles of international law.

The Commission is unwilling to agree to the suggestion of arbitration. There is no objection either on the part of the Department or the Commission to Standard Oil’s negotiating with the Colombian Government for these tankers. It is not yet definitely known whether the Commission will be able to make available any cargo vessels for Colombia. It is therefore suggested that you do not go beyond your previous statements on this subject.

If you perceive objection to replying to Colombians in this sense please report to the Department together with such recommendations as you may have in the premises.

  1. Latter not printed.