851U.7962/4

The Assistant Chief of Staff (Handy) to the Assistant Secretary of State (Berle)

My Dear Mr. Berle: In your letter of June 24th, you make reference to an agreement reached by the Military Commandant at Pointe Noire concerning the use of the airport at Pointe Noire by the United States. No formal negotiations have been carried on with the Military Commandant of Pointe Noire by representatives of the War Department. However, informal discussions have been carried on with General Sicé and Colonel Carretier at Brazzaville, and with the Military Commandant of Pointe Noire. These discussions concerned only matters of a technical nature and were conducted by U. S. Army Engineer and Air Corps officers in connection with the survey and reconnaissance of the air ferry route through Pointe Noire. The above officers were not authorized to make any formal agreements or commitments involving the United States. Any understandings reached were purely of an unofficial nature.

Enclosed are a paraphrase of a cablegram sent by the Army Air Forces Ferrying Command through the State Department to the American Consul at Leopoldville, 15 March 1942, and extracts from a Report on Reconnaissance of Additional Air Routes to Australia, dated April 18, 1942.15 The above-mentioned papers indicate the nature and substance of all informal discussions which have taken place between Free French authorities and the above mentioned U. S. Army personnel.

Early action toward obtaining permission from the Government of French Equatorial Africa for improvement and operation by the U. S. Army of the Airport at Pointe Noire together with such supply [Page 571]installations as may be required in that connection, will be appreciated.

Thos. T. Handy

Brigadier General
  1. Enclosures not attached to file copy of this letter.