823.706/163: Telegram

The Ambassador in Peru ( Norweb ) to the Secretary of State

145. Reference Department’s 59, April 7, 6 p.m. Following preliminary recommendations are submitted on the bases of intercontinental defense and the immediate needs of the Government for development of [apparent omission] in Peru.

[Page 506]

The reconstruction of the 5 following airports in the order named: Talara, Iquitos, Chiclayo, Lima and Quipa, with installation of complete communications, meteorological and lighting units; communications and meteorological units would also be installed in 10 additional landing fields now in existence. The whole project to be Government-owned and controlled.

The cost of the reconstruction of the above 5 fields is estimated at 2 million dollars, with an additional million dollars for the installation of the communications, meteorological and lighting units. With respect to the 4 small airplanes for which there is a probability of priority, it is strongly recommended that these planes be made available to the Peruvian National Airline, operated under the executive administration of the United States Aviation Mission as a part of the Peruvian Air Corps. The planes could be put into immediate use in the Iquitos service. This recommendation is made regardless the fact that they may be used near the disputed area20 since in any case a Peruvian Government service will be maintained with that district.

Faucett is in agreement with the foregoing recommendations and does not require any assistance for the time being save certain priorities on materials which will be covered in a separate despatch. Faucett will take care of the needs of his expanding services for the next year by building additional plants in his own factory and for which the above-mentioned materials are essential.

We have not approached the Peruvian authorities aside from statements of Colonel Moore,21 but we learn reliably that the President is personally and actively interested in these matters and proposes the establishment of an authority similar to our civil aeronautics authority to control all civil aviation, including landing fields and facilities in Peru. Before taking up the matter with the Peruvian authorities we would appreciate any suggestion the Department may have regarding the financing of the loans and equipment of the airfields and the acquisition of the 4 hydroplanes above referred to.

The President has orally assured me that no more concessions or permits will be granted non-American airlines to operate in Peru. We suggest the Department consider our obtaining some more formal understanding in this respect.

Norweb
  1. For correspondence regarding the boundary dispute between Ecuador and Peru, see vol. vi, pp. 212 ff.
  2. Col. James T. Moore, Chief of the United States Aviation Mission to Peru.