811.34537/402: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Cuba ( Braden )

407. Your 464, June 24, 10 p.m., and 492, July 1, 11 p.m.30 Without prejudice to the drafting of the Agreement referred to in your 492, the Department wishes your urgent opinion as to the feasibility of obtaining authority from the Government of Cuba for the prompt development and operation by the War Department of the base at San Julián. The War Department plan contains the following points:

Acquisition by Pan American’s Cuban subsidiary of such additional land in the vicinity of San Julián as may be necessary.
Provision of runways or the extension of existing runways to a total length of 7,000 feet.
Construction of the necessary buildings, including hangars and shop facilities and provision for a dispensary, gasoline storage facilities, communication and weather facilities, necessary night lighting installations and bomb storage facilities. All of the buildings would be of a temporary character.
Permission to station not over 500 officers and enlisted men with necessary airplanes and equipment at San Julián for the purpose of patrolling in the vicinity of the Yucatán Channel.
Permission to construct the necessary temporary housing facilities for the above personnel.
Permission to construct access roads to airfield and to improve existing roads, where necessary, for the purpose of supply and operation.

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War Department desires to obtain permission from the Cuban Government for Army engineers and survey parties to make necessary preliminary surveys pending the conclusion of an agreement with the Cuban Government for the necessary construction. Your views as to the necessity of a formal agreement concerning San Julián and also as to the most appropriate detailed approach to the several points of the War Department’s plan will be appreciated. You should not approach Cuban Government pending further advice.

  1. Neither printed.