800.85/565: Telegram

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

183. Department’s telegram 159, February 10, 7 p.m. The President this afternoon confirmed information given to me by Turbay that sale of tankers should be handled in the Shipping Subcommittee of the Inter-American Economic Advisory Committee. He frankly stated that his principal object was as soon as possible to make delivery of the vessels to the United States and in return to get the best possible assurances that this country’s shipping needs would be cared for either by allocation of sufficient tonnage to Colombian trade or by purchase of one or two merchant vessels. …

He does not know to whom in the United States or under what terms the tankers should be turned over; therefore, these are matters which can best be worked out with Turbay. The same applies to the nature of the statement to be made by the Maritime Commission. In my opinion it would strengthen Santos’ hand were it possible to make a stronger statement than that suggested in the Department’s telegram under reference.