711.21/1–345: Telegram

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

26. Your telegrams no. 4 of January 2 and no. 10 of January 3.2 It is not felt that either President López or Colombia has any just grounds for complaint. This Government has cooperated most fully with Colombia and two or three isolated issues cannot be taken as typical, particularly when we feel that we are on sound ground even in those instances.

The President’s statements concerning the coffee price problem3 and the increase in coffee quotas strike the Department as confusing and in a sense contradictory. A separate communication will be sent to you on coffee.

Lend-lease equipment was supplied to promote hemisphere defense from aggression and the trend is now downward. No equipment has been or is being supplied for the local military or political convenience of any republic, and Colombia should not expect lend-lease equipment to strengthen its political position vis-à-vis her neighbors.

With respect to rifles for the national police for the maintenance of order within Colombia, we are prepared (if you strongly recommend it) to go again to the military authorities in an effort to obtain such equipment as is needed and can be spared from war uses. However, the Department would not be prepared to engage in a “cover-up” shipment to the national police with the understanding that the facts would be kept from the Colombian Army. Any shipment which we make for the police would have to be on an open and above-board basis to the “Government of Colombia” on a cash or cash reimbursable basis. You will, of course, not wish to make any commitment until [Page 847] the Department has been able to clear the matter with the War Department and so inform yon.

Stettinius
  1. Neither printed; in these telegrams the Ambassador reported that the President and Foreign Minister complained of the injury to Colombia caused by United States discrimination with respect to lend-lease and the increased coffee quota (711.211/1–245, 1–345).
  2. For documentation on the coffee problem, see pp. 34 ff.