Memorandum by Mr. Albert H. Gerberich of the Division of North and West Coast Affairs to the Assistant Secretary of State for American Republic Affairs (Braden)


ED is not favorable to extending additional credits to Colombia for four reasons:

There is considerable objection to doing so in certain quarters because of the defaulted municipal and departmental bonds.
The Eximbank finances are now at their lowest ebb. Including outstanding loans, commitments, and possible commitments, the Exim-bank’s available funds on May 15 were down to $32,000,000. It has pending requests for credits totaling $223,000,000, almost all from Latin America, and cannot consider these for lack of funds. Brazil alone is after loans totaling $400,000,000.
Colombia has gold holdings totaling $127,000,000 and foreign exchange amounting to about $50,000,000. She could use some of this gold and foreign exchange instead of asking for loans from us. Colombia has, in addition, $47,000,000 in gold in the United States and a $48,000,000 dollar-balance in this country.
Colombia has not yet signed up with the World Bank. If she would do so, she could obtain assistance there.

While ED is not averse to helping Colombia to a reasonable extent and considers Colombia a pretty good credit risk, it feels, in view of the above, that no big credits should be given and no commitments made at this time.

There is attached a statement of Loans and Commitments66 of the Export-Import Bank, showing the situation as of May 15, 1946.

  1. Not printed.