Memorandum of Conversation, by Albert H. Gerberich of the Office of South American Affairs



  • Failure of Colombia to Receive Military Supplies
  • Participants: Ambassador Cipriano Restrepo-Jaramillo
  • Mr. BernbaumOSA–NCA
  • Mr. GerberichOSA

The Ambassador stated that there has been great dissatisfaction in Bogotá over the failure of the Colombian Government to receive military supplies promised as a result of the visit of Minister of War Bernal to the United States last July.

The Ambassador said that following Bernar’s conversations with high officials in the Pentagon, the Colombian Government presented a requisition for materials amounting to about $3,500,000. The export of these items was finally approved by the Allocation Board and the Colombian Government deposited the required amount with the U.S. Treasury, insisting on the urgent need for shipping the supplies for use in anti-guerrilla operations. The Ambassador stressed strongly the tieup between Communists and guerrillas in the forces operating against the Government, and said that notwithstanding all the proofs of friendship that Colombia has given the United States none of these supplies whatsoever have been delivered.

He went on to say that under the Bilateral Pact the Colombians were told that they would receive four B–25J’s and two F–47’s during 1952 and six B–25J’s and eleven F–47’s during 1953. The Minister of War was told that these planes would be delivered to the Colombians in the Canal Zone or its neighborhood. Not one has been received; nor is there any reason to hope for the receipt of any in the near future.

[Page 796]

The Ambassador said he could not recall that the Colombians have received any military supplies promised them under the Bilateral Agreement besides certain spare parts for planes.

He emphasized strongly that this situation is making it extremely difficult for the Government to resist pressure from the Army to pull back its troops in Korea. He said he is really surprised at our failure to cooperate, in view of Colombia’s participation in the Korean warfare. He handed Mr. Bernbaum a memorandum1 on the subject.

Mr. Bernbaum told the Ambassador we would study his memorandum and inform him at our earliest opportunity just what the facts are in the issues he has raised.

  1. Not found in Department of State files.