The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Colombia


66. Consistent with permission you recently obtained from Colombian Govt for aerial examination of Atrato–Truandó trans-Isthmian route by Secy Army Royall accompanied by a Colombian officer, Secy Royall has now asked that you request Colombian authorities to grant permission for further preliminary reconnaissance of this route by river, land, and air. Pls request this permission, if you see no serious objection, emphasizing purpose is only to obtain preliminary estimates of costs that might be required so that it will be possible to make a comparison between feasibility of this possible route and others. It would of course be expected that such preliminary observations would [Page 487] be made with whatever participation Colombian authorities might consider desirable.1

  1. Ambassador Beaulac informed the Secretary of State in telegram 127, March 18, 3 p. m., not printed, that a request to the Foreign Office was embodied in a note dated March 8 (821.812/3–1848). The Colombian Foreign Minister (Zuleta Angel) granted permission for a preliminary reconnaissance of the Atrato-Truandó area by air, land and river, in connection with investigations being made as to a new interoceanic canal, in a note of August 3, 1948 to the Embassy, not printed. The exchange of notes of March 8 and August 3, 1948 was transmitted to the Department of State by the Embassy in despatch 57, January 21, 1949, not printed (821.812/1–2149). In despatch 767 of December 22, 1948, Ambassador Beaulac reported to the Department that preliminary surveys had been undertaken in the Humboldt Bay area and at Rio Sucio from December 11 to 14, and that the definitive survey of the route from the Atrato to the Pacific would begin on January 7 (821.812/12–2248).