740.00115 European War (1939)/8860: Telegram

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

498. Minister of War9 informed me this morning that Acting President Echandía10 has issued instructions to Director General of National Police11 to effect internment of enemy nationals with the greatest urgency. General Espinel said that in his opinion the internment will take place this week.

I emphasized our desire that the more dangerous Germans should be deported to Panama in accordance with agreement already reached between the Colombian and Panamanian Governments.

General Espinel said that he is writing me a letter requesting under Lend-Lease four Douglas transport planes which are urgently needed. He said that a formal request has been or is about to be made by the Colombian Embassy in Washington. I said that I would be glad to endorse the request as both Colonel Densford12 and Colonel Weeks13 are convinced of the need of these planes but that I felt certain the [Page 807] Colombian Government would have a greater chance to obtain this equipment if favorable action were taken with respect to enemy aliens.

  1. Gen. Domingo Espinel succeeded Gonzalo Restrepo as Colombian Minister of War in March 1944.
  2. Dario Echandía. As first designate, he exercised presidential powers while President Alfonso López was in the United States from November 19, 1943, to May 16, 1944.
  3. José Joaquín Caicedo Castilla.
  4. Col. Charles F. Densford, successor of Col. Melvin G. Faris as Chief of the American Military Mission in Colombia.
  5. Col. John A. Weeks, Military Attaché.