811.24591/11–1544: Telegram

The Ambassador in Iran (Morris) to the Secretary of State

845. General Connolly has been ordered to cease operation of motor transport service of his command north from Andimeshk. This will presumably make available certain heavy equipment such as trucks, cranes and road machinery for transfer elsewhere for army needs or for disposal here.

General Connolly has asked War Department instructions relative to this material stating that Iranian Government has need of such equipment. He holds the view which I share that such equipment should be offered first to the British and Russian military forces if they can justify its use for war needs in Persia.

Connolly has informed his department that Soviet military command has expressed interest in taking over the military camp at Kazvin just as it stands and he believes the British when they know of the contemplated withdrawal may be interested in Hamadan. It is Connolly’s disposition to offer these camps to the Russian and British military prior to offering them to the Iranian Government. I feel that the American Army should not attempt to pass title to its fixed installations in Iran to a foreign power. I think the proper treatment of this question should be either for our Army to retain title and allow the British and Russians respectively to occupy the camps for their military needs up to time of their withdrawal from Iran or to sell the fixed installations to the Iranian Government with the condition that British and Russian tenancy should be agreed to pending their final withdrawal from here.

It appears this withdrawal order must be executed very shortly and a decision taken in regard to the disposition of the movable and immovable property. I suggest Department may wish to discuss immediately this question with War Department and inform me subsequently of its views as I will initiate any discussions with Iranian Government concerning its possible acquisition of the property in question subsequent to Connolly’s receipt of orders.