740.00112A EW/11–2146: Airgram

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


A–418. Reference is made to the Department’s secret circular of March 4, 194641 in which the Embassy was requested to report on the progress being made toward the elimination and expropriation of the spearhead firms in this country. The Department’s attention is called to the Embassy’s despatch 1423, February 20, 194641 which transmitted the text of Law 39 of December 14, 1945 providing for the expropriation of German assets, and to secret airgram A–126 of [Page 665] April 4, 194641a which transmitted the information available to the Embassy on that date concerning the status of these spearhead firms.

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It may be pointed out that the liquidation of these enemy firms which, according to the information available to the Embassy on April 3, 1946, would be terminated within a month or two, has been proceeding very slowly and in some cases has apparently been completely blocked. This may be due in part to the withdrawal of the U. S. Proclaimed List Which allowed some of these concerns to increase the volume of their business immediately, thus improving the sales value of the firm. By not liquidating the spearhead firms in a hurry the Stabilization Fund now stands to realize substantially more for some of them. On the other hand, the legal representatives of the German interests have been heartened by the withdrawal of the List and are presenting additional legal obstructions.

As to the general replacement and liquidation program in Colombia as a whole, the Stabilization Fund pointed out that there were a total of 1,600 cases to be settled. These included individual Germans, Italians, and Japanese, and their properties. Of these, 980 have been liquidated to date; 60 more are in the process of liquidation, and the remaining cases are complicated by legal difficulties. In this respect, reference is made to the Embassy’s confidential despatches Nos. 1865 and 1891 of August 25 and September 942 respectively which transmitted the English text and Spanish translations of two published liquidations, Nos. 1 and 51 of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit applying the sum of 8,770,795.70 pesos to the estimated debt of 12,500,000 pesos due the Colombian Government as reparations. There has been published a third list, Liquidation No. 109, which contains the names of additional firms and individuals who have been assessed 100 per cent under Law 39.

The Stabilization Fund has informed the Embassy that the amounts assessable from each of these firms and individuals is at present being computed and will be available within a month. The Embassy will keep the Department informed of any new developments concerning the spearhead firms listed in this airgram and any further expropriations by the Colombian Government.

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