740.21112A/78: Telegram

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

1710. Mr. Robert Parrish, Chairman of the Coordination Committee,40 who has a wide knowledge of persons and conditions in Colombia, has submitted for our consideration the suggestion that if the Department plans to ease restrictions upon Italian firms in Colombia as a result of developments in Europe, we should do so at once and not wait for the impact of events to force us to do so. He expresses the thought that we should remove at once from the Proclaimed List those firms against which we have the least adverse information, stating that we will get much more credit if we take this step now rather than if we delay until this situation is clearly defined in Italy.

On September 23 President López asked me if I had any instructions as to reconsideration of the position of Italian firms [and] Italian citizens in Colombia, as undoubtedly this problem will have to be faced shortly by the Colombian Government.

In recent weeks officials of the Banco de la República (the Government entity charged with the administration of practically all enemy firms and of the blocked accounts of enemy nationals) have been quite insistent with officers of the Embassy in inquiring as to the possibility [Page 68] of the United States easing restrictions on Italian nationals as a result of military developments, and have stressed the desirability of unified and simultaneous action in the event the sanctions or controls are eased with reference to any particular group.

I should be glad to receive the Department’s telegraphic instructions as soon as a decision is reached on this important question of policy.

  1. An agency of the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs.