Joseph P. Tumulty to Woodrow Wilson
The White House, January 11, 1914
Pass Christian, Miss.
Following from Harrison, Bogota, to Secretary of State:Have seen the Minister for Foreign Affairs by appointment to receive Colombias reply to proposition of yours of December nineteenth. The minister apologized for the delay in answering, due to unavoidable absence of one of the members of the consultatory commission of the foreign office. He hopes to have a reply for me by next Tuesday. The minister then stated that your proposition had made rather unfortunate impression on the commissioners, largely due to rejection of their draft for preamble and article first recommended by Mr. Thomson. He therefore requested me to inquire whether you could not see your way to accept their preamble and article first, which would greatly facilitate an amicable arrangement.Confidential. I understand the preamble and article first were drawn by Dr. Suarez, whose sympathetic attitude on the question is not binding and whose influence is almost paramount. Our negotiations are in fact not with the government but with the commissioners representing all political parties with whom the government has but little influence. The quixotic character of these gentlemen should be catered to as far as possible and any consession in this connection that the department may be able to grant would go far toward a settlement. If, however, the department cannot accept their draft, a full frank explanation of the reasons therefor would undeoubtedly have a beneficial effect.