883.24/149: Telegram

The Minister in Egypt (Kirk) to the Secretary of State

300. The planes referred to in Department’s 202, February 4, 10 p.m., are required by Misr Airwork, an Egyptian concern which, owing to fact that it is Government subsidized and managed by Director of Civil Aviation in Ministry of National Defense, may be regarded as an Egyptian Government operation to even a greater extent than British Overseas Airways Corporation is regarded as a British Government organization. Misr Company maintains service with Cyprus, Beirut, Palestine, Alexandria as well as special services under contract with British and Egyptian Armies and in furtherance of war effort offers priority to military in mail and passenger traffic.

According to information supplied by director of Civil Aviation the present fleet of 8 planes of which majority have completed over 7,000 hours of flying are no longer capable of maintenance with any degree of safety and regularity and 2 planes with spares ordered from England in 1941 sunk in transit in November 1942. It is essential that planes be obtained immediately in order to continue service and accordingly Lockheed Lodestar type is desired as they can be flown to Egypt. The request is for 2 such planes fitted for passenger service for which cash will be paid as well as cost of flying to Cairo either by manufacturer or by courtesy Pan Air.

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I am personally familiar with the operation of Misr Airwork of which president is former Minister of National Defense and can vouch for urgency of requirement for new planes. It is my opinion that the supply of these planes would not only assist in the furtherance of the war effort but would have a beneficial effect on American-Egyptian relations. I hope that the Department will so recommend.