740.21112 RP/4–2545: Telegram

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

467. Reurtel 607, April 25. The Department is sending to all of the missions in the other American republics a circular telegram47 with respect to discussions between the Department and the British Ministry of Economic Warfare with respect to Proclaimed List policy [Page 865] in post-hostilities period. The tentative agreement, to be more fully described in the circular, contemplates fairly prompt action to withdraw the list substantially from those of the other American republics which have carried forward an effective replacement program. Among those relatively few of the other American republics from which the list would not be thus withdrawn would be Colombia, which, as your 607 under reference indicates, has taken no effective measures to nationalize or liquidate Axis spearhead enterprises.

The Department agrees that the importance of this matter should be called to the attention of the Colombian Government in as vigorous a manner as possible, and to that end it is preparing an aide-mémoire along the lines suggested in your penultimate sentence. In addition, it might be desirable to impress once more upon the Colombian Government the fact that the September 26, 1944 statement,48 publicly issued, indicated that the list would be withdrawn more quickly from those countries which had effective replacement programs than from those which had not, and that among those few countries which have taken no very effective steps is Colombia. The contrast between the very effective measures carried out in a country like Ecuador or Brazil, and the lack of action, despite discussions extending over a period of two years at the least, in Colombia, might be orally emphasized. It might be pointed out also that a country like Chile, although its program began relatively late, has already succeeded in eliminating effectively Axis banks and insurance companies and in eliminating Axis influence from a substantial proportion of the spearhead companies.49

A copy of the proposed aide-mémoire will be sent to you when it is prepared.

  1. Dated April 28, p. 661.
  2. For statement dated September 20, 1944, released to the press September 20, see Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. vii, p. 530.
  3. For documentation on efforts to control Axis financial transactions in Brazil, Chile, and Ecuador, see pp. 650 ff., pp. 770 ff., and pp. 1037 ff., respectively.