834.7962/21: Telegram

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

358. Your despatch 465, October 10, 1942.11 In view of the difficulties that have arisen the Department is not prepared at this time to assure prompt completion of the Asunción airport in accordance with the original contract, particularly since the engineers assigned to the work have departed and there is a pressing need for their services on other similar and more urgent projects.

Should the Paraguayan Ambassador approach the Department as indicated in your despatch, he will be informed that the Department will reconsider the resumption of work on the airport at such time as all possibility of further difficulties is removed.

As previously indicated, neither the Department nor the War Department consider the Asunción airport a necessary project at this time and its construction was started only to comply with the Paraguayan Government’s request. In view of the action by the Paraguayan army which has delayed the work on the airport, the Department does not feel that any obligation exists to resume work immediately. You should refrain from giving the Paraguayan Government any indication that the Department desires to resume construction.

  1. Not printed. In August, construction on the airport at Asuncin was halted because of action by the Paraguayan cavalry in preventing use of military-reservation land which had been designated as part of the airport. Correspondence regarding this difficulty is not printed.