The Chargé in Peru ( Dreyfus ) to the Secretary of State

No. 5243

Sir: Referring to the Embassy’s despatch No. 5078 of April 14, 1937,58 concerning the desire of the Peruvian Government to obtain again the services of a United States Naval Mission59 for the technical training of the personnel and the increased efficiency of the Peruvian Navy, I have the honor to report that (Naval) Captain Roque Saldias, Minister of Public Health, has made it known in no uncertain terms in conversations with members of the Embassy staff that he hopes that Peru will shortly be able to have again in its midst a United States Naval Mission. Captain Saldias gives the United States Naval Mission [Page 889] unstinted credit for all the good that it has done for the Peruvian Navy in the last decade and a half.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Should the Peruvian Government officially request the appointment of an American Naval Mission, I feel, after due consideration of the matter, that our Government should not fail to recognize the importance of such a Mission to American prestige in Peru, especially inasmuch as there are American Naval Officers in Brazil, Argentina and Ecuador, and British Naval Officers in Colombia. I do not hesitate to predict that, if the services of an American Naval Mission should be refused, the Peruvian Government will turn at once to Italy for the technical assistance which it requires.

The Peruvian Air Service is a component part of the Peruvian Navy and, therefore, in the event that an American Naval Mission should come to Peru, I would also like to suggest the advisability of including in the Mission one or two aviation experts. This would undoubtedly be a restraining force on the increasing Italian influence in Peruvian aviation. (See despatch No. 5190 of June 12, 1937.60)

Respectfully yours,

Louis G. Dreyfus, Jr.
  1. Not printed.
  2. A United States Naval Mission functioned in Peru from 1920 to 1933. See Foreign Relations, 1920, vol. iii, pp. 367 ff.
  3. Not printed.