816.24/622: Telegram

The Ambassador in El Salvador (Thurston) to the Secretary of State

189. Department’s 150, July 20, 4 p.m. The Subsecretary of National Defense states that an order for 1000 sub-machine guns has been placed with the Harrington and Richardson Arms Company Worcester, Massachusetts, upon the recommendation of the Salvadoran Military Attaché. He added that this equipment is required by the national guard (about 800 men) and army officers, to replace obsolescent guns. He made no mention of a request for such material addressed to the Coast Guard.

As the Department is aware from my reports, it appears to be the intention to amend the Salvadoran Constitution to facilitate General Martínez continuation in the Presidency for a fourth term. It is possible that opposition to this plan may develop and that this particular type of weapon may be desired for the repression of civil disorders.

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I have requested the Military Attaché6 to investigate through different channels and I shall forward his report by airgram.

  1. Maj. Charles P. Baldwin.