Summary of Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State (Berle) to President Roosevelt 56

British Landing Eights at Roberts Field

The British wanted landing rights at Roberts Field, beginning the summer of 1942. Various reasons were given, none of them very convincing.
The Army objected, and there was a row which grew in intensity.
The British sought State Department intervention November 2, 1942; Army still recalcitrant; British case still unconvincing.
British (substantially) threatened reprisals, January 23, 1943. State decided this was no time for a row; prevailed on Army to grant landing and refueling rights but not commercial stop rights. Army acquiesced, but unconvinced.
January 29, 1943, Monrovia reported Arnold ordered grant of landing and servicing privileges to BOAC, after discussion at Casablanca. This was substantially the arrangement Army had been induced to accept.
Recommended that, the row having been generally settled on January 25 in Washington, the agreement be formalized. Arrangement here appears to be, on the whole, the arrangement ordered by General Arnold.
Adolf A. Berle, Jr.
  1. Marginal notation: “C[ordell] H[ull] OK FDR”.