The Ambassador in Peru ( Norweb ) to the Secretary of State
[Received May 15.]
Sir: With reference to the Embassy’s telegram 145 of April 24, 1941, 3 p.m., setting forth preliminary recommendations with respect to the reconstruction of airports in Peru, I have the honor to report that the Minister of Finance informed me yesterday that by direction of the President he has been charged with the supervision of the development of civil aviation in Peru. As a first step in the Minister’s program and with the concurrence of all of the Peruvian authorities concerned, he proposes the reconstruction of the five airports mentioned in our telegram under reference and two additional airports, probably at Cuzco and Tingo María. In order that the plan may be carried out as soon as possible, Mr. Dasso is desirous of obtaining the services of a competent engineer or engineers to make a preliminary survey of the work to be done on the seven airports under consideration, and has requested me to ask the Department’s aid in obtaining the services of the engineer or engineers in question.
Colonel James T. Moore, U. S. M. C, Chief of the United States Aviation Mission to Peru, recommends that a competent engineer be sent immediately to make a preliminary survey of the airfields and an estimate of the materials required and the cost of construction. Colonel U. G. Ent, the Military Attaché, suggests that the engineer designated consult with our War and Navy Departments before coming to Peru.
As for the financial arrangements, the Minister seemed to expect that we would be prepared to supply the necessary initial capital. Peru’s share of this outlay to be determined by mutual agreement and to be repaid over a long term through especially earmarked taxes.
I heartily endorse the recommendation of the Minister of Finance as well as the recommendations of Colonels Moore and Ent in order to accomplish this preliminary step which we are all agreed is of paramount importance in connection with intercontinental defense and the requirements of the Government of Peru in a long-range program for the development of aviation in this country.
P. S. Since dictating the foregoing, we have learned that the Minister of Marine and Aviation has sent a note to the Foreign Office requesting that one United States Army engineer officer be sent to Peru for the purpose of making a survey of airport extensions and other needed facilities. Further, that one Air Corps officer or Coast [Page 508] Artillery officer be sent to Peru to study and recommend an antiaircraft defense for Callao and other vital areas in Peru. RHN