The Ambassador in Colombia (Lane) to the Secretary of State
[Received 3:30 p.m.]
566. In Barranquilla on March 21 General Brett at my suggestion spoke to Secretary General of Foreign Office,14 in presence of General Piedrahita15 and myself expressing his disappointment that no action had as yet been taken regarding dangerous enemy nationals and pointing out that unless action were taken he would have no argument with War Department in obtaining further lend lease supplies which, according to Colombian Army, is urgently needed. I took occasion to remind Piedrahita and Caballero Escobar that at Bogotá meetings last December General Brett had offered to obtain lend lease equipment in view of Colombia’s state of belligerency and that Colombian Government officials had then inquired how Colombia could best contribute to the war effort. General Brett had replied (1) by deporting and interning Axis sympathizers and (2) by stopping platinum smuggling. As Colombian query was spontaneous I added that there could be no question of our having used pressure as had been charged.
Caballero after making various excuses, especially the local political situation, promised to telephone Bogotá at once to acquaint government with General Brett’s views. Later that evening Caballero quoted Foreign Minister Lozano as having said that within 36 hours action would be taken pleasing to General Brett.
El Tiempo of today states that 100 Germans are being interned today at Hotel Sabaneta at Fusagasugá.
Repeated to Panama for information of General Brett.