810.20 Defense/2740: Telegram

The Ambassador in Paraguay (Frost) to the Secretary of State

230. My No. 225, May 22, 9 p.m. Minister of War today stated that authorization air field applies to only Asunción, as Panair has submitted no petition respecting Concepción. He requests immediate formulation of request for Concepción, taking into account that the field there is and must remain a military field.

I have the honor to request that Panair be at once directed to instruct its representative at Asunción immediately to submit proposal for Concepción. Engineer Somers should be placed in position to operate simultaneously as to both fields. I should appreciate telegraphic instruction as to whether the Department takes such action.

Military Attaché has prepared following suggestions regarding Concepción field which have my full endorsement.

“(1) Panair to [apparent omission] field, make any necessary installations.

(2) Panair to pay for additional land, but land will be obtained by Government condemnation proceedings and Government will retain ownership and title. (If Panair feels price is too high, it may withdraw from the whole deal).

(3) In return for above, Panair be granted free use of field for 20 years. At end of period the whole passes to the Government and Panair gets first refusal to rent.

(4) Phraseology quoted in Department’s telegram 123, April 28, 9 p.m. paragraph [1] may be added in appropriate places: (a) Panair maintain field’s landing facilities for public and military use. (b) In return Panair will have right control all civilian use of the field, under supervision of the military commander. Planes of Paraguayan registry will have free use of landing facilities, others will pay such fee as may be determined by Panair in agreement with military.

The above arrangements are suggested to meet the presumptive view of Paraguay that: (a) Field remain primarily military, (b) Paraguay, looking to national air lines, have some say in control of civilian traffic, (c) Many Paraguayans resent the fact that a foreign concern can issue orders to Paraguayans.

Others are suggested to protect Panair to the extent of: (a) If Panair maintains field, it should have control necessary to carry out effective maintenance. No control, no responsibility.”