891.248/97

Memorandum by the Under Secretary of State (Welles) to the Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Murray)

Mr. Murray: The Minister of Iran called to see me this morning with regard to the aviation question.

The Minister stated that by instruction of his Government he was calling to ask me personally to interest myself in the problem of the airplanes desired by the Persian Government, since he and his Government [Page 652]both believe that in view of the very large production of airplanes for our own national defense, which would soon be under way, the manufacture of the small number of planes desired by Iran could in no sense be a detriment to our own defense requirements.

I explained to the Minister that it was, of course, my desire to do everything possible to be of assistance and service to the Iranian Government but that I was sure the Minister understood that our own national defense requirements had to rise superior at this time to other considerations. I stated to the Minister, however, that as soon as it was possible for me to do so I would be glad to ascertain if there was any possibility of complying with the request made.

You have covered the situation personally with the Minister so many times that I think there is really no need for me to do anything myself in the matter but if you think it would be helpful, you may say to the Minister that as soon as I return from my brief vacation I shall be glad to take the matter up with the National Defense Advisory Council.

S[umner] W[elles]