821.24/9–2148

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

confidential
No. 592

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the Department’s instruction no. 113 of July 31 concerning a possible settlement of the Colombian Government’s Lend Lease account of $1,092,406.87 (U.S.) in Colombian pesos.

On July 21, an officer of the Embassy discussed this matter with the Secretary General of the Foreign Office at which time the latter agreed to bring it to the attention of the Foreign Minister. It was pointed out that the United States Government was in sympathy with the present dollar position of the Government of Colombia; that it would, accordingly, be willing to consider a formal proposal submitted by the latter Government for the settlement of its Lend Lease obligations in Colombian pesos, such funds to be used in the foreign buildings program; that the basic position of the United States Government would be to avoid the acceptance of the official rate as the sole effective rate for implementing any settlement; and, that any formal negotiations would be conducted in Washington between the Department of State and the Colombian Embassy. At that time the Secretary General did not recall any communication on this subject from the Colombian Ambassador in the United States (Enclosure 1 of Reference Instruction).

[Page 456]

On September 20, this question again was raised with the Secretary General of the Foreign Office. He said that a note concerning the matter had been given to the Foreign Minister but that the latter had never discussed it with him. However, on this date he did confer with the Foreign Minister and reported the following:

1)
The Foreign Minister is very much interested in the United States’ suggestion and will discuss the matter with the President;
2)
In addition to the employment of such peso funds by the United States in its foreign buildings program, the Minister wondered whether it would be possible to use such funds in a program of cultural interchange between the two countries.

In view of the latter question, the Department is requested to inform the Embassy whether the peso funds might be used, in part, for such a cultural program, or whether the entire amount would have to be allotted to the foreign buildings program.

Respectfully yours,

For the Ambassador:
R. R. Rubottom, Jr.
Second Secretary of Embassy
  1. Not printed.