711.00111 Armament Control/Military Secrets/607

The Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Davies) to the Secretary of State

No. 146

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge your confidential instruction No. 32 of February 25, 1937, outlining certain recent activities of Soviet purchasing agencies in the United States with regard to the construction or purchase of battleships, submarines, and armor plate. The information contained in this instruction is useful to me and the members of my staff for background purposes and I appreciate deeply the thoughtfulness of the Department in furnishing it to the Embassy.

It may be of interest to the Department, in this connection, to learn that the Soviet Government has of late been displaying considerable interest in obtaining technical assistance from various American aircraft manufacturing companies. A production engineer of the Vultee Aircraft Division of the Aviation Manufacturing Corporation of Downey, California, arrived in Moscow several days ago in order to assist the Soviet Government in building in Moscow a factory which can turn out light combat planes. This engineer states that he is to be joined in the near future by five or six other engineers and mechanics and that they intend to work in Moscow for at least a year.

The Embassy is also in receipt of a letter from an engineer in the United States employed by the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation, who states that his firm is planning to send a dozen engineers, including himself to Taganrog, on the Sea of Azov, in order to design and supervise the building of aircraft for the Soviet Government. Apparently Taganrog is to specialize in the production of sea-planes.

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Mr. N. M. Kharlamov, the Director of Tsagi (Central Aero-Hydrodynamic Institute in the Name of N. E. Zhukovski), informed a member of my staff several days ago that during a recent trip to the United States he had made contracts for technical assistance in the building of airplanes in the United States with the Douglas Aircraft Company, the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation, and the Vultee Aircraft Company. He added that the Soviet Government had become convinced that the American manner of building aircraft was best suited to Soviet conditions since the American system of construction could more easily be adapted to mass production than any of the European systems.

Respectfully yours,

Joseph E. Davies