851.248/181: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France ( Bullitt )

275. Department’s no. 268, April 15, 4:00 p.m. Information obtained by the War Department from officers of the Allison Company and from the Commanding General at Wright Field, who has intimate knowledge of the present and potential production capacity of the company, has caused the War Department to revise its first estimate of the rate at which the company could step up production. [Page 513] The War Department now estimates that the maximum which can be expected is: 6th, 7th and 8th months, 35 engines; 9th month, 60; 10th month, 75; 11th, 12th and 13th months, 150; 14th month, 300.

Should the French Government order 800 engines, thus making possible the expansion of the plant desired by the War Department, the War Department which has ordered 400 would not require the company to deliver to it more than one-third of the monthly production. The other two-thirds could be delivered to the French. The War Department proposes to adopt as a general practice non-interference with available industrial facilities used by the French Government or new industrial facilities created by reason of orders placed by the French Government with American firms unless such interference were required in the interests of the United States in some unforeseen and extreme emergency.

The French Attaché for Air is spending Monday and Tuesday at the Allison plant. He has informed the Department that he does not believe that his Government would be interested in the V–1710–21 engine. Therefore, he has cancelled his order for that engine. He believes, however, that his Government will be greatly interested in the V–1710–19 engine and he proposes to purchase one for delivery in about 3 weeks. He will undoubtedly communicate direct to his Minister all pertinent information in regard to this engine and in regard to the terms on which it could be purchased in quantity.