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

No. 160

Sir: I have the honor to report that at the meeting of the Colombian Consultative Commission held on January 11, 1945 …

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Advantage was taken of the opportunity to inquire of the Commission what progress had been made in the Colombian expropriation program. Dr. Gómez Naranjo38 stated that the Empresa Hanseatica had been sold to satisfactory Colombian purchasers, and that payment [Page 861] had been deposited into the Stabilization Fund. The Stabilization Fund has also purchased all the Anilinas Alemanas shares in Industria Química Colombiana (Inquico) (PL),39 leaving the latter firm free of any enemy interests. Ganadería “La Esmeralda” (PL) has been purchased by a group of satisfactory businessmen. (See despatch no. 57 of December 29, 194440 recommending this firm’s deletion from the Proclaimed List.)

It was pointed out to the members of the Commission that it seemed extremely unlikely that the important German drug and chemical firms such as Química Bayer and Química Schering and Instituto Behring would be willing to sell their businesses. Therefore, the only remaining manner of removing these firms would be by direct expropriation by the Colombian Government. Dr. Gómez Naranjo agreed with this and stated that both the Department of Control of Property of Foreigners and the Stabilization Fund had done all in their power to bring about these expropriations. All the necessary documents were before the Attorney General for his signature; however, for unknown reasons the program had bogged down in that office. Dr. Escallón, the Attorney General, will be out of Bogotá until the end of January. Dr. Gómez Naranjo stated that he would go to Dr. Escallón’s office on January 12 to see what can be done to expedite this program. On the other hand, he believed that perhaps it would be necessary to await the return to Bogotá of Dr. Escallón. However, for the time being, no progress can be reported on the expropriation program with the exception of the voluntary sales reported above.

The matter of the expropriation was gone into at great length in view of Mr. Macdonald’s41 recent trip to Washington and London. Upon inquiry, Mr. Macdonald stated that both Washington and London were somewhat dissatisfied with the progress being made in this direction, and that deletions in any sizeable numbers cannot be made because of the failure to eliminate German spearhead firms in Colombia.

Respectfully yours,

For the Ambassador:
W. E. Dunn

Counselor of Embassy for Economic Affairs
  1. Legal Adviser to the Stabilization Fund, Banco de la República.
  2. Proclaimed List.
  3. Not printed.
  4. R. A. Macdonald, British Commercial Secretary in Colombia.