Memorandum by Mr. Joseph C. Green of the Division of Western European Affairs
Mr. Murray5 called at my office today. He stated that his Company had been requested to quote prices on various types of military airplanes for sale to the Greek Government. He asked me whether there were any restrictions upon the export of military airplanes from the United States to Greece.
I told Mr. Murray that there were no treaties or statutes, other than those relating to military secrets under the control of the Secretaries of War and of the Navy, restricting the export of military airplanes to Greece.
Mr. Murray then asked me whether the Department would have any objection to the financing by the Export Import Bank of the sale to the Greek Government of a number of military airplanes of this type.
I replied that the Department could not possibly approve the financing of such a sale by any agency of this Government and I explained briefly the reasons on which the position of the Department in this matter was based.
Mr. Murray then asked whether the Department would disapprove also of the financing by the Export Import Bank of a sale of transport planes to the Greek Government.
I replied that I could not give a categorical answer to this question as the position of the Department would depend upon a number of considerations, such as the use for which the planes were intended, the political situation in the Near East at the time of the transaction, et cetera. I suggested that the Boeing Company might, if it desired, raise the question with the Export Import Bank, in which case it could be considered by the Department in due course.
Mr. Murray said that he entirely understood the position of the Department in respect to the financing by an agency of this Government [Page 313] of sales of military aircraft to foreign governments. He said that the President of his Company was about to come to Washington to discuss the proposed sale of airplanes to Greece, and that he would inform him that there was absolutely no use in going ahead with the project to have the Export Import Bank finance the sale of distinctly military aircraft. In the course of his conversation, Mr. Murray referred to a credit of 38 billion (sic) francs which was recently established in a bank in Athens for the purchase abroad of airplanes, tractors, trucks, et cetera. He said that it was his understanding that 5 million francs out of the 38 billion (sic) were to be used for the purchase of airplanes in this country. It was his impression that the credit of 38 billion [sic] francs did not belong exclusively to the Greek Government, but was held jointly by the Greek Government, the Turkish Government and some other Balkan Governments.
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- J. P. Murray, Vice President of the Boeing Aircraft Company of Seattle.↩