Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Gordon P. Merriam of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs

I asked Major Chaltchi to inform me of the present status of the airplane purchasing program of his Government in the United States.

Major Chaltchi stated that twenty-five Rearwin machines had been purchased for the Aero Club of Iran. Of these eight have been shipped, eight are ready for shipment, and nine are not yet completed.

Ten Hawk–75 pursuit planes have been ordered. These will be ready for Major Chaltchi’s inspection from December 15, and are expected to be completed in January or February.

Major Chaltchi said that he had never been instructed by his Government to acquire specific quantities of additional machines, although [Page 658]from a telegram received by the Department from the Legation at Tehran he understood the additional number wanted was thirty pursuit planes and fifty bombers. He had merely been instructed to look into the question of purchasing additional planes but had been unable to get a promise of delivery prior to 1942, which would be too late for the purposes of his Government.

Major Chaltchi brought up the question of acquiring aluminum parts for British airplanes which were now in Iran. He said that in the past such parts naturally had been secured from Great Britain but were now unobtainable from that source. The application for this aluminum had been turned down, but he sincerely hoped this decision was not irrevocable, as it made things very difficult for his country’s air force. He had heard that the application had been denied from fear that the parts would reach Germany. If this were the case, he did not think the decision was well taken. In the first place, the quantity involved was small. In the second place the sheets, etc., would be fabricated for the British machines in question in accordance with plans and specifications. The Major said he very much hoped the decision could be given reconsideration, and asked for such assistance as the Department could give.52

I thanked him for his information and said that his remarks regarding aluminum parts would be given careful consideration.

  1. It is stated in a marginal note that the Division of Near Eastern Affairs did not recommend consideration of this proposal.