The Under Secretary of State ( Welles ) to the Minister in Uruguay ( Wilson )

Dear Ed: My answer to your letter of December 262 has been somewhat delayed, as I wished to give you the latest information on the situation affecting Uruguay’s request for armaments.

I can assure you that this matter is in no manner escaping our attention. It forms a part of a larger problem: how the United States can arm itself rapidly and at the same time furnish supplies to Great Britain, China, Greece, and the American countries. In order to obtain an adequate concept of the situation in so far as it affects the American republics we are now, with the help of the War and Navy Departments, considering all the requests for arms and munitions which these countries have submitted in order to estimate the most urgent needs of each country, our capacity for meeting them and the financial problems involved. It was to facilitate this that we asked you to request the Uruguayan Government to submit officially its request for war matériel in the form described in the circular instruction of September 25, 1940.2a It is in this connection that programs or schedules are being drawn up for each country showing how and when deliveries can be made, as well as the estimated financial requirements. As we informed the Uruguayan Minister in Washington,3 Uruguay’s need for a loan to effect armament purchases is being considered in connection with this program.

When you have a convenient occasion to mention this subject to Dr. Guani4 or any other appropriate official of the Uruguayan Government, will you please convey to him my assurances that we are keeping Uruguay’s request constantly in mind and shall not fail to transmit to you or to Señor Richling at the earliest opportunity information [Page 550] concerning the dates on which supplies can be made available together with the financial requirements connected therewith.

You may be interested to hear that Señor Richling transmitted to us several weeks ago official copies of the list of war matériel, compiled according to our circular of September 25 and forwarded to him by the Uruguayan Government. These are now under consideration in connection with the plan described above.

With all kind regards [etc.]

Sumner Welles
  1. Not printed.
  2. Foreign Relations, 1940, vol. v, p. 13.
  3. José Richling.
  4. Alberto Guani, Uruguayan Minister for Foreign Affairs.