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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, 1919

Colombia,   pp. 724-802 PDF (27.4 MB)

Page 724

JULY 20, 1919
Extracts from  the Message of President Suarez to the National
Congress, July 20, 1919 1
[Translation 2]
Convention of 1914 with the United States-The convention signed
April 6, 1914 for resolving differences between Colombia and the
United States arising out of the secession of Panama is still pending
and is being studied by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations at
Washington. The convention was recommended to that body by the
President of the United States in such a solemn manner that this
affair and the great affair of universal peace were the sole subjects of
a special message by President Wilson. The explicit declarations
of the message in favor of our rights and of the expediency of ap-
proving the treaty, made by the statesman who is to-day the world's
foremost advocate of international justice, create for our rights an
incomparable title, and an imperishable claim upon the gratitude of
the Colombian people....
Petroleu-nAs the petroleum wealth of Colombia is beyond ques-
tion and as it is so great that it occupies perhaps the third place
among similar resources of American nations, it is necessary to
legislate about this matter in terms that will fix clearly the right of
the Nation and of the Departments, as well as those of the landed
proprietors, to explore and to exploit the deposits. At the same time
it is desirable to promote discreetly the influx of foreign capital,
indispensable to our industrial progress, unless we prefer to remain
in a sterile immobility which would perhaps be dangerous to our
rights. To bar the road to foreign cooperation which would be favor-
able to our industries, to turn the key upon the resources which are
guarded by our soil, is not to place them in safety, but, on the con-
trary, to excite in others the desire to take advantage of them and
'Transmitted by the Minister in Colombia in his despatch No. 110, Aug. 1;
received Aug. 25.
2Substituted for file translation.

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