710 Consultation 4/9–847

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chairman of the United States Delegation (Marshall)

Participants: Secretary Marshall
Dr. Domingo Esguerra, Chairman of the Colombian Delegation and Minister of Foreign Affairs for Colombia
Ambassador Donnelly95

I called today on His Excellency Dr. Domingo Esguerra, Chairman of the Colombian Delegation and Colombian Foreign Minister.

I thanked the Minister for the kind references to our country and to me in the speech made by Ambassador Zuleta Angel.95a

I requested the Minister’s views on the progress of the Conference and he replied that while he was optimistic as to the outcome of it there still remained a few controversial problems to settle. He referred in particular to a resolution submitted by the Ecuadoran Delegation [Page 56] calling for revision of boundary treaties of the American republics. He expressed the belief that adoption of the resolution would be a matter of grave concern to his country and to other American republics and that wars might follow. He referred to Colombia’s boundary treaties with Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru and said that a revision of the treaties at this time would create a very unfavorable reaction in his country. He expressed the hope I would find it possible to suggest to His Excellency Dr. Raul Fernandes, President of the Conference, that the Ecuadoran Delegate withdraw the resolution. I told him that I would be willing to suggest to Dr. Fernandes that in my opinion the proposed resolution does not come within the province of this Conference. Note: This has been done and the resolution has not yet been discussed at the Conference.

The Minister also expressed concern over a report that the Chairman of the Ecuadorian Delegation96 had said that Senator Vandenberg had indicated his approval of the Ecuadoran resolution. I expressed surprise at this remark and said that I was reasonably certain that Senator Vandenberg had made no such statement. (Note: Senator Vandenberg subsequently denied the report and later informed the Colombian Foreign Minister that he had never heard of the resolution.)

The Colombian Minister also expressed concern over the Mexican proposal providing for a defense zone for the Americas and added that while the motives for the resolution were not clear it appeared Mexico hoped, among other things, to create spheres of influence in Central and South America, with Mexico’s sphere consisting of Central America and the Caribbean areas. The Minister said that he had not read the resolution and suggested that no action be taken on it until all the Delegates had an opportunity to study it carefully.

The Minister said that he had intended to call in the Colombian Ambassador to the United States97 for the purpose of discussing certain aspects of the economic situation in Colombia and the possibility of obtaining loans from the United States, but that in view of the shortage of time before the next meeting and the complexity of the problems it might be preferable to arrange a separate meeting. Ambassador Donnelly suggested that instead of a separate meeting that the Minister furnish me with a memorandum covering the points which our Delegation would study here and would forward to the Department for further examination and comment. The Minister agreed with this suggestion.

  1. Walter J. Donnelly, Ambassador in Costa Rica; Political Adviser to the U.S. delegation to the Conference.
  2. Eduardo Zuleta Angel, Colombian Minister of Education.
  3. José Vicente Trujillo.
  4. Gonzalo Restrepo Jaramillo.