Memorandum by the Acting Chief of the Division of Special Inter-American Affairs (Dreier) to the Director of the Office of American Republic Affairs (Briggs)


Colonel Ordway27 came over to see you this morning and, finding you busy, dropped in to tell me that he wished to report he had orders from the Chief of Staff not to send the tear gas bombs, etc., to Colombia unless he had a written request from the State Department. Your letter in which you said the State Department endorsed the request of Ambassador Wiley did not meet this requirement.

Colonel Ordway said that General Crittenberger28 was under orders to hold the material ready. A telegram to CDC ordering the shipment to Bogotá is already drafted and ready to go as soon as a written request is received from the State Department.

I told Colonel Ordway that we appreciated his coming over on this matter, and that I would send you a memorandum conveying his message. [Page 661] I suggested that he sit on this matter until he had further word from the Department, either making the request or calling it off.

In view of the somewhat more favorable turn of events in Colombia, I believe we should inform Ambassador Wiley and the War Department that we consider this shipment inadvisable. To turn over property of the US Army to another government for the purpose of controlling internal labor conflicts is certainly a dangerous and undesirable move under any circumstances.

J. C. D[reier]
  1. Col. G. Ordway, General Staff Corps, United States Army.
  2. Lt. Gen. Willis D. Crittenberger, Commanding General, Caribbean Defense Command.