Memorandum by the Director of the Office of American Republic Affairs (Warren) to the Secretary of State
I have investigated the request made of you at Mexico City28 by the Peruvian Foreign Minister to expedite delivery of twelve dive bombers. This has long been a contentious case in which the Department has taken a firm stand that the dive bombers should not be delivered to Peru. Our established Lend-Lease policy is that offensive weapons of this nature should not, at this stage of the war, be delivered (except in the most extenuating circumstances) to American republics other than to equip the Brazilian Expeditionary Force and the Mexican Expeditionary Air Squadron. Peru is stronger in offensive air weapons at this time than any other West Coast country and, if we further strengthen Peru, vehement protests will ensue from her neighbors, particularly Chile, Colombia and Ecuador. If we give in to the Peruvians on this matter, we will have to give way to others and will start the armaments race we want to prevent.
I have drafted for your consideration a letter which you may wish to send to Foreign Minister Gallagher in the premises.29