Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Ailing)
Commander Wheeler of the Navy Department telephoned to me today regarding telegram No. 466 of September 25, from the American Embassy at London. In that telegram the Embassy reported that the British Admiralty was prepared to relay United States Government messages between the proposed naval radio station at Addis Ababa and the British Government wireless station at Aden.
Commander Wheeler suggested that the Embassy be advised to leave this matter in abeyance for the time being. In this connection he stated that the Navy first wished to ascertain whether it would not be possible to maintain direct communication between the station at Addis Ababa and the naval stations at Washington and Cavite, Philippine Islands. He said that in the event such direct communication did not work well in practice the Navy was contemplating asking the Radio Corporation of America to make arrangements with the Radio Orient at Beirut to relay messages to and from Addis Ababa. Commander Wheeler stated that the Radio Corporation of America had a contract with the Radio Orient and would doubtless find no difficulty in making arrangements such as the Navy Department envisaged. He added that the Navy would prefer to work in this manner through an American company rather than to make use of the British Government facilities [Page 891] at Aden. At the same time he thought that it would be desirable to keep the British offer open so that the Aden station could be used if the other means of communication did not work out in practice.