The Chargé at Tangier (Childs) to the Secretary of State
[Received 2:14 p.m.]
612. My 611, November 13, 11 a.m. In my conversation with my Spanish colleague he said he would like to make a personal suggestion to me in the interests of our good relations which were being cemented by events. He suggested that my Government offer the two American planes which had been obliged to make a forced landing as a gift to the Spanish Moroccan Air Force.
I thanked him for his suggestion and the spirit animating it but made no comment other than to say that it was an interesting suggestion.
The most practical aspect of the suggestion to me from our point of view is in the possibility that might be afforded by such a gift of stating to the Spanish authorities at the same time that while we are desirous of making this gift in the interests of the friendship between the two Governments we find it necessary for military reasons to ask that the Spanish authorities return certain equipment possessed by the planes which represent equipment with which only the American military authorities are familiar. The gift of these planes might give us an excellent opportunity of retrieving by a formula such as that suggested or some other secret equipment installed in these planes.
Repeated to Madrid.