Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Louis J. Halle, Division of Northwest Coast Affairs
|Participants:||Mr. Ballivian—Bolivian Embassy|
|Mr. Moscoso Douglas12—Bolivian Embassy|
|Mr. Johnson (RL)13—State|
|Mr. Jarvis (AD)14—State|
At the suggestion of the Bolivian Ambassador, Mr. Douglas and Mr. Ballivian came in to discuss current lend lease problems. Mr. Douglas was acting for Colonel Pacheco, who has been confined to his home by illness. Mr. Douglas said that under date of November 13 he had received a letter from the War Department informing him that some fifteen AT–6 training planes were being assigned to Bolivia under Lend Lease, that they would be ready at San Antonio, Texas, in the first days of December and that Bolivian pilots should be on hand to take delivery since the planes would not be held indefinitely. Consequently, fifteen pilots and two mechanics had been brought up from Bolivia and are now sitting idly in San Antonio awaiting the delivery of the planes. Meanwhile, Mr. Douglas has been orally informed by Captain Powell in the War Department that the prospects of delivery are uncertain and that even if the planes arrived at San Antonio by the end of December, they could not be delivered before the end of January. Mr. Johnson and Mr. Jarvis agreed to get in touch with Major Roberts in order to find out precisely what the situation [Page 512] might be, and they suggested that Mr. Douglas also talk with Major Roberts.
Mr. Douglas also expressed the hope that the Department could be helpful in obtaining under Lend Lease some Stearman planes that were needed for the use of the United States Aviation Mission.
Mr. Douglas mentioned the three hundred jeeps and two hundred trucks for which application had been made and said he felt Bolivia was entitled to favorable consideration in view of the fact that it had not received nearly as much Lend Lease as had been promised. He ventured the opinion that Bolivia had received less favorable treatment under Lend Lease than the other American republics, while making a contribution to the war effort second to none except for that made by Brazil. He felt that these jeeps and trucks had been promised and represented an obligation on the part of the United States. Mr. Johnson informed him of the urgent need that is now felt for ground transportation equipment at the war fronts, which need took priority over other needs and kept this equipment in very short supply.
Mr. Douglas said arrangements had been made through the War Navy Petroleum Board for the provision of 13,000 or 14,000 drums of gasoline, together with certain other petroleum products to Bolivia.
The Navy had informed the Bolivian Army Purchasing Commission that the Combined [Joint] Chiefs of Staff had decided that gasoline would not be provided under Lend Lease. However, Mr. Douglas felt that, because Bolivia had received inequitable treatment on Lend Lease an exception should be made whereby this gasoline would be lend-leased to Bolivia. He indicated that Bolivia could not pay for it. The persons that Colonel Pacheco and Mr. Douglas had been dealing with on this matter were Admiral Carter,15 Captain Evans and Lieutenant Commander Milbraugh. It was agreed that the Department would look into this.