833.24/12–1644: Telegram

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

722. ReDepts 635 November 6, 6 p.m.44 Pursuant to arrangements for additional allocations of matériel under Lend-Lease to Uruguay the Munitions Assignment Board has informed the Uruguayan Military Attaché here that 28 model M–3A–1 tanks have been allocated to Uruguay. Colonel Farías, upon learning that these tanks would be reconditioned and not new, has written a letter to War Department stating in strong terms that Uruguay will not accept delivery of anything but new equipment. Farías has also informally expressed considerable annoyance to Department over this “new and inexplicable” attempt to send “used” matérial to Uruguay stating that the last time this occurred he informed War Department, under instructions from his superiors in Montevideo, that in future no used equipment would be accepted.

War Department in view of fact (a) that similar reconditioned units are being supplied to our own forces on battlefronts, and (h) that it has gone to considerable pains to obtain tanks in question for Uruguay (there being no new tanks available), is about to reply to Colonel Farías in equally strong terms to the effect that shipment of tanks will be cancelled immediately.

Such a development would obviously be extremely unfortunate. Department, in order to forestall this, has discussed matter informally with Uruguayan Ambassador with following results: (1) Ambassador Blanco proposes to have tanks inspected by Military Attaché here with a view to recommending that they be accepted if he finds them satisfactory; (2) War Department has agreed to reconditioning one of the tanks for inspection purposes in spite of Colonel Farías’ stand; (3) Ambassador Blanco has telegraphed Foreign Office to obtain approval for this procedure; (4) The Ambassador believes that a word from you to the Uruguayan Minister of National Defense might influence decision.

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You are therefore requested in your discretion to discuss this matter informally with General Campos in accordance with information set forth above.

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