823.248/251: Telegram

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

566. At the Foreign Service conference meeting this morning the chiefs of the United States aviation and naval missions emphatically expressed the opinion that the requisition of the 18 planes has completely disrupted the work of their missions. The most extreme anti-United States attacks are being made from the floor of the Senate and are being published in the press and broadcast by radio. The son of and the nephew of Rafael Larco35 of La Crónica of Lima called today again to state that the present situation is being used to undermine the entire pro-democratic campaign, the support of President Roosevelt and his policies and that anti-American feeling is stronger and more widespread than they have ever known [it] to be. They added that reactionary Peruvian elements and totalitarian interests are capitalizing on events to the fullest extent, while friends of the United States are helpless to fight back.

The most unhappy stage which relations between Peru and the United States have reached has impressed Bonsal through his conversation with the Minister of Finance,36 General Melgar37 and Felipe Beltran, all of whom have heretofore been very warm friends of the United States and of the democratic cause. It must also be emphasized Peru is interested in obtaining the exact type of bomber which was requisitioned and would not be particularly interested in substitutes. This is confirmed by Colonel Ent and is due to the requirements of Peru’s actual aviation establishment and training program. It is possible that the situation might be considerably improved if the War Department could give some indication as to a date, preferably not over 3 to 6 months hence, when the exigencies of our national defense program might make it possible to begin to replace these. If this suggestion meets with the Department’s approval, it is further suggested that the visit to Washington of Rafael Larco Herrera scheduled to take place within the next few days, will furnish an excellent opportunity for an announcement in the sense proposed.

In connection with the foregoing the Brazilian Ambassador has been reliably informed that the Peruvian Minister for Foreign Affairs38 probably will call the representatives of the three mediatory [Page 518] countries within the next 48 hours to present a proposal regarding the boundary dispute.39

  1. Rafael Larco Herrera, First Vice President of Peru and chairman of the Board of Directors of the newspaper La Crónica.
  2. David Dasso.
  3. Gen. Fernando Melgar earlier in the year had visited the United States to study aviation methods.
  4. Alfredo Solf y Muro.
  5. For correspondence regarding the boundary dispute between Ecuador and Peru, see vol. vi, pp. 212 ff.