810.20 Defense/12–745

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chief of the Division of North and West Coast Affairs (Flack)

Participants: Sr. Arturo Lares, Chargé d’Affaires, ad interim
Colonel Jones-Parra, Military Attaché, Venezuelan Army
Colonel Pérez Jimenez, Chief of Staff, Venezuelan Army
Captain Castro Gomez, Venezuelan Army
Mr. Joseph Flack—NWC
Mr. Bainbridge C. Davis—NWC

During a call this morning on other matters Sr. Lares mentioned that Venezuela was desirous of getting the material which had been agreed upon in the Staff Conversations held in Caracas in April 1945. This thought was echoed by both the Venezuelan Military Attaché and the Chief of Staff, who said that they considered that their hands had been tied since they had agreed to standardize equipment with the [Page 1428] United States. The indication was that if this were not the case they might purchase equipment elsewhere, but I do not think this idea is uppermost in their mind. What they really want is to implement the Staff Conversations as well as possible in order to chalk up an achievement for the new Government.

I explained to them that this matter was receiving the Department’s urgent consideration and that it was within the framework of our over-all relation of hemisphere defense with the other American republics and that it appeared that some legislative action would be required in the United States to implement the various conversations which had been held. I also mentioned to Sr. Lares that the conversations had been purely exploratory, to which he agreed, but evidently the whole Venezuelan group is convinced that agreeing to standardize binds them. Accordingly, I think it is very important that action be taken in regard to our implementation of the Staff Conversations as soon as may be possible.

In this same vein, it was mentioned that in a conversation with General Hertford58 the visiting Venezuelan mission of two had received the impression that Staff Conversations with the new Government might be desirable. I said that any such suggestion from either side should come through diplomatic channels.

  1. Brig. Gen. Kenner S. Hertford, American Theater Section, Operations Division, War Department.