The Ambassador in Peru (Dearing) to the Secretary of State
[Received September 19.]
Sir: I have the honor to refer to my despatch No. 1938 of July 18, and the Department’s telegram No. 40 of August 9, 12 noon, regarding the employment by the Peruvian Government, during domestic disorders, of pilots of the Pan American Grace Airways who are American citizens, and to enclose copies of the Embassy’s note to the [Page 960]Foreign Office No. 288 of August 10, 1932, the Foreign Office’s reply thereto dated August 29, 1932 with translation, and the Embassy’s note No. 297  of September 12 , 1932.
Since the July Trujillo revolution, the Government has not requisitioned Panagra planes or pilots, but the question is almost certain to recur. A very delicate situation now exists with the Leticia incident with Colombia,7 complicating an acute domestic unrest.
In the event of local uprising, it is probable that the Government would wish to utilize Panagra planes which can only be flown by American citizens. Both the Company and the pilots themselves object to undergoing the risks inherent to military missions, but the Company is not in a position to protest too strongly, first, because of its contract with the Government whereby it agreed to furnish its planes and equipment gratuitously in the event of domestic disorder, and, second, because it must maintain amicable relations with the Government in order to be free in the conduct of its business from as many harassing regulations and retaliatory restrictions as possible. Thus, it appears that the course to be taken is that followed during the Trujillo revolution, namely, when the Embassy deems that the safety or lives of American citizens are imperiled, to informally advise them that they accept Government military service at their own risk and that they cannot be forced to undertake such service through any provisions in the contract between the Company and the Peruvian Government. They will, of course, be informed that no contractual stipulations deprive them of their right to protection as American citizens.
I should be very grateful for the Department’s instructions and after their receipt shall make appropriate reply to the Foreign Office note.