Memorandum of Conversation, by the Under Secretary of State (Welles)

The British Ambassador called to see me this morning at my request.

With regard to the Ambassador’s request made on May 27, namely, that British and Canadian pilots be trained in American aviation training centers, I said that the matter had been given very full consideration and that without reference to legal considerations, the practical situation was that we were now planning in our own rearmament program to use army and navy as well as civilian facilities and personnel to the maximum, and our military and naval authorities did not believe that it would be possible, at least for some time to come, to consider the training of any foreigners other than those already in service schools.

The Ambassador said he had anticipated this reply but wondered if there was not something outside of this particular aspect which could be done. He asked whether it would not be possible for this [Page 10] Government to permit the British and the Canadians to rent and utilize air fields in the southern states during the coming autumn and winter when Canadian fields would be out of commission because of the Canadian winter weather.

I told the Ambassador that I would be very glad to study this question and to let him know what the authorities here thought could be done in this regard.

S[umner] W[elles]