711.00111 Armament Control/1563

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control (Green)

Mr. R. G. Ervin, President of the P. and E. Corporation, 420 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York, called on Mr. Welles38 this morning by appointment. I was present during the conversation.

Mr. Ervin asked whether it would be contrary to the law or to the policy of the Government for an American corporation to purchase a large number of rifles in this country and to export them to China.

He was informed that if an American corporation were to purchase rifles from American manufacturers, it could, by complying with the laws and regulations governing the registration of exporters of arms and the issuance of arms export licenses, export them to China and that such action would not contravene the policy of the Government.

Mr. Ervin said that he referred not to rifles purchased from American manufacturers, but to Enfield rifles which the Corporation proposed to purchase from the War Department.

Mr. Ervin was informed that the War Department possessed no surplus Enfield rifles; that no surplus of such rifles was likely to be declared in the immediate future; and that moreover it was contrary to the policy of the Government to sell arms for export to any country.

J[oseph] C. G[reen]
  1. Sumner Welles, Under Secretary of State.