811.5017/2–745: Telegram

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

187. President López said this morning that Colombia and Brazil were considering the possible sale of coffee to the Army. He said that he understood Brazil was willing to sell 1 million bags at existing ceiling prices;65 but that Colombia, while willing to sell 500,000 bags Federation coffee to Army, preferred not to accept payment at this time but rather at some time in the future, say 6 months from now, at the prices then existing. In other words, if between now and the agreed date there should be a rise in coffee prices, Colombia would benefit by the increase, but if prices should be the same as today, the sale would be liquidated on that basis, the same as today’s prices.

President López requested that this proposal be considered by the competent authorities, and that the Colombian Government be advised whether it would be acceptable. He said it had the advantage in Colombia of building up a dollar credit abroad which would be useful in the future, whereas an immediate influx of dollars would, he said, add to immediate inflationary difficulties (see various previous telegrams).

Please telegraph Embassy nature of reply which should be made to President López.66

Repeated to Rio de Janeiro.

  1. For documentation on Brazilian coffee problems, see pp. 688 ff.
  2. Infra.