823.00 Revolutions/328: Telegram

The Chargé in Peru (Burdett) to the Secretary of State

101. Last night President personally and urgently asked Harold E. Harris, manager Panagra, for reserve tri-motor plane with American pilot to carry munitions to revolutionary zone and emphatically declared Government’s contractual right to requisition Panagra planes and personnel in the event domestic disorder. President plans to send Peruvian pilot as passenger and announce that plane was flown by Peruvian.

Point hitherto never brought up is while contract is actually between Government and Peruvian airways latter owns no planes but rents them from Pan American. For the sake of (in order to assure) future harmonious relations Panagra it is unwise to bring up this technicality at this stage.

My advice to Harris: allow Government to requisition plane according contract reservation, question now ownership planes by Peruvian Airways; permit but not order pilots to go, they must volunteer freely without pressure from any source and understand they go at own risk without responsibility by Panagra or Peruvian Government for their lives or welfare. In the event international mail suffers interference, or if planes are used for air raids or taken into zone of fire Embassy will immediately make strong formal protest.

Department’s approval requested.