810.20 Defense/3–245: Telegram

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

257. The suggested changes in arrangements for staff conversations with Colombia and Perú contained in your 315, March 2, are unfortunately [Page 851] not practicable. General Brett12 is anxious to open all staff conversations himself, leaving a group of officers to carry out the technical conversations after the first 2 or 3 days. This precludes simultaneous conversations in Perú and Colombia. Moreover, the exploratory nature of the conversations makes telegraphic consultation between groups in different countries unnecessary, while the system of separate teams has been devised partly in order to avoid the feeling in any country that U.S. officers were taking military information from one country to a neighboring republic. Finally, several countries have now accepted the dates suggested by this Government in accordance with a carefully-worked out schedule, so that any significant change would involve rearrangement of the schedule and dates already agreed upon.

It is not believed that there are any grounds for Colombian sensibilities being ruffled by present arrangements once the Colombians know that conversations are definitely scheduled.

  1. Lt. Gen. George H. Brett, Commanding General, Caribbean Defense Command.