811.34533/29: Telegram

The Ambassador in Uruguay (Dawson) to the Secretary of State

106. 1. Last night at President’s farewell dinner for Admiral Ingram, President and Ministers of Foreign Affairs9 and National Defense expressed complete approval of Naval air base proposal on lines indicated in my 99, January 21. Work is to be done by Uruguayan Government and at its expense, Admiral Ingram supplying equipment and engineers. President pointed out that on this basis, project can be executed without prior submission to and discussion in Congress which Government wishes to avoid. Base which is to be built at Laguna Del Sauce 60 miles east of Montevideo will be available for use by United States and Allied forces under same conditions as Uruguayan ports and other naval facilities are now available. President added that if while in Uruguay our forces were to be attacked by enemy, Uruguay forces would aid in repelling aggression.

2. In my conversations with President and his advisers, I have indicated that our discussions were, of course, subject to approval from Washington. However, I understand from Admiral Ingram that he has authority to go ahead and proposes to do so. He indicated that he would send an air engineer to Montevideo shortly.

3. An excellent result of the Admiral’s extraordinarily successful visit has been establishment of very cordial relations between him and Minister of National Defense. Admiral has offered to send additional heavy equipment from Brazil for work on Carrasco airport. He has also offered to provide transportation to U.S. for Uruguayan naval crew which will take over in Miami patrol craft being supplied to Uruguay under Lend-Lease. Admiral plans to send cruiser to Montevideo for this purpose about middle of February.

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4. Memphis and Somers left Montevideo today at 9 a.m. USS Christopher referred to in my 78, January 16 is spending 2 days at Punta del Este.

  1. José Serrato.