The Chargé in Bolivia (Dawson) to the Secretary of State
[Received 10 p.m.]
376. Last paragraph my 376 , December 13, 6 p.m. President, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defense59 asked for assistance in obtaining immediate Lend-Lease supplies for organization of defence of Bolivia as follows: (1) 20 to 25 training planes, (2) priorities for approximately 70 trucks ordered from International Harvester Company for delivery December 31, (3) 60 20-millimeter anti-aircraft guns and 12 40-millimeter A A A guns.
Bolivian Minister in Washington is being asked to expedite action. Item 3 has not previously been included in Lend-Lease requests because it had been ordered from Bofors.60
After consulting with Military Attaché and Chief of Aviation Mission I recommend strongly that:
- Arrangements be made for delivery of trainers as soon as possible after Chief of Mission so recommends, his action depending upon measure of cooperation he obtains in his tasks. If armed locally these should be as effective in controlling subversive activities in Bolivia as combat planes.
- Priorities be made available immediately for trucks and that these be paid for from Lend-Lease funds. Bolivia’s primary need in controlling country is transportation of troops.
- Action on A A A guns be delayed until Legation’s military advisers can estimate situation accurately. Offhand anti-aircraft equipment would appear unnecessary to the country.