810.20 Defense/722/15: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Costa Rica (Hornibrook)

44. Your telegram No. 63, June 5, 4 [5] p.m. Please inform President Calderón Guardia that there is no legislation which would authorize the loan or gift of surplus arms and ammunition to foreign governments. However, on April 26, 1940, the Department furnished the Costa Rican Minister a list of arms and ammunition which had been declared surplus by the Secretary of War, inviting the Minister to discuss informally with officers of this Government the possibility of [Page 85] purchasing such material as might be of interest to the Government of Costa Rica. No reply was made to this communication.

A limited quantity of the surplus arms referred to above still remains available for purchase. These include a large number of unused Lee-Enfield rifles, caliber .30, model 1917. They are being sold at the nominal price of $12.50 for unused rifles or $7.50 for used rifles. Both used and unused are in perfect condition. The prices include bayonets, scabbards, slings, and spare parts. Should the Costa Rican Government be interested in acquiring any of these rifles, it is suggested that the Minister designate Señor Luis Fernandez, who is now in Washington, be instructed to inform the Department. The Department would then arrange for him to negotiate with appropriate officers of the War Department. Ammunition for the rifles would have to be purchased directly from private manufacturers.