821.51 Bondholders/8–1547: Telegram

The Chargé in Colombia (Warner) to the Secretary of State


537. ReEmbtel 536, August 14. President Ospina called me to Palace last evening to stress how serious he considered reopening of the proposed foreign debt settlement would be. He reviewed history of negotiations starting with his discussion as to debt settlement with Assistant Secretary Braden, US bankers, and others when he visited US last year. He noted that he was able to obtain agreement to Rogers proposals from the departmental governors, and municipality representatives. He repeated arguments set forth in Lleras letter to Rogers. The President believes that a reopening of negotiations or failure to carry through Rogers plan would cause him considerable political embarrassment, would be basis for new attacks by Communists and other extremists against so-called US imperialism, and would in general be contrary to US interests.

The President regrets such possibility especially at this time when he is highly satisfied with relations with US. He attributes good relations to oil companies’ present policy of publicity and to rise in coffee prices which not only benefits economy of country, but especially permits the buying of machinery et cetera to improve lot of workers. He called Welsh’s attitude unfortunate and expressed fervent hope that it would not delay final settlement on basis of Rogers agreement especially since proposal was sponsored by Department and Ambassador Wiley. I told him that his views would be conveyed to the Department.