810.24/98

The Secretary of State to the Secretary of War (Woodring)

My Dear Mr. Secretary: The Argentine, Colombian, Cuban, Mexican, and Panamanian Embassies and the Dominican and Salvadoran Legations have informed the Department that the governments which they represent may desire to purchase some of the arms which you have declared surplus and which are available for sale to foreign governments. I am informing the Chiefs of the Missions listed that on April 24 or thereafter I am prepared, if they so desire, to refer representatives of their respective governments to the appropriate officer of the War Department in order that they may negotiate for the purchase of such of these arms as may be available at that time. Should any of these governments determine to take advantage of this opportunity to negotiate for the purchase of arms, I shall, in accordance with the procedure outlined in paragraph (1) of our joint memorandum of March 12 in regard to the sale of surplus arms by this Government to foreign governments, refer the representatives named by them to the Chief of the Military Attachés Section, G–2 Section, General Staff, and inform you of this reference. April 24 has been selected for the date on which such negotiations may be initiated as it is my understanding that you have fixed April 23 as the date on which the Chilean representatives with whom you are now negotiating should communicate to you the decision of the Chilean Government as to which of the arms declared surplus their government desires to purchase. I venture to suggest that the representatives of the Brazilian Government with whom you are negotiating might be requested to arrive at a [Page 6]similar decision on or before April 23 in order that the representatives of the governments listed above may, if they begin negotiations on April 24 or thereafter, be informed definitely as to what surplus arms are still available for purchase by their governments.

Sincerely yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Sumner Welles

Under Secretary