800.24/7–2145: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Secretary of State

96. Ref. your Victory 150. Abrupt and unannounced cessation of shipments of Lend Lease equipment despite specific commitments within framework of general agreements is creating very serious situation in the other American republics. Dept. cannot recommend too strongly that procedure outlined in my 4934 be followed, namely, that you obtain from President interpretation of his directive of July 5 which will permit completion of these few outstanding commitments to other American republics. This does not involve, nor would it permit, any new arrangements to be made for additional equipment under Lend Lease and we will have to proceed in a manner consistent with policy statement recently approved by Staff Committee to obtain legislation for implementation of staff talks.

Aside from major projects mentioned in my 49 numerous small deliveries of maintenance equipment and spare parts to several countries have been held up. Their importance is largely measured by the protests which have come as a result of the stoppage of deliveries and the resulting doubt being cast on good faith of this Government at very moment we are trying to work out satisfactory long-term arrangements for military and naval cooperation based upon standardization of matériel. A report of serious effect of present situation on views of high Brazilian military personnel was received by War Dept. from Gen. Wooten35 and understand this has been forwarded to Generals Marshall and Arnold.36 Ambassador Berle37 has expressed his serious concern as have ambassadors of other countries.

At present Dept. unable provide clarification or assurance we can fulfill existing commitments. This situation will exist until War Dept. receives either from President, Joint Chiefs or Secretary Stimson authority to interpret directive in such a way as to permit fulfillment of commitments already made.

  1. Dated July 18, p. 245.
  2. Gen. Ralph H. Wooten, Commanding General of United States Army Forces in South America.
  3. General of the Army George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff, United States Army, and General of the Army Henry H. Arnold, Commanding General, Army Air Forces, members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Combined Chiefs of Staff, United States and Great Britain.
  4. Ambassador to Brazil, Adolf A. Berle, Jr.