800.85/598: Telegram

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

582. Your 618, May 8, midnight, and 570, April 29, 8 p.m. The proposal contained in the Department’s 311 of March 14 was designed to avoid the question of arbitration between Colombia and Italy regarding the price to be paid for these tankers. This was carefully explained to the Colombian Ambassador here. The Maritime Commission does not consider it advisable to have the price to be paid for the tankers determined in this manner. It suggests, however, if the Government of Colombia is willing to turn the vessels over to the United States, that the latter would pay the Italians a price similar to that which it is obliged to pay when it requisitions vessels under our law.

It is hoped, however, that you can obtain acceptance of our proposal referred to above without further recourse to the matter of arbitration.