The Acting Secretary of War (Royall) to the Secretary of State
Dear Mr. Secretary: Receipt of your letter of 19 December 1945 with regard to the initial shipments of military equipment to Latin American countries is acknowledged.
I fully agree that we must guard against increasing the armaments of any Latin American country to an extent which might cause a [Page 264] deterioration of our political relations with these countries, or lead to suspicions and jealousies. These matters, as well as the economic means of each country to support armed forces, were considered in the conduct of the Bi-Lateral Staff Conversations upon which the interim allocations of equipment are based.
I agree also to the three policies you have set forth in your letter as being important to the implementation of this program. These conditions were generally agreed to during the conduct of the Bi-Lateral Staff Conversations. These conversations were exploratory only, and not binding on the countries concerned. It is felt, however, that these nations will readily agree to the policies, providing it is understood that this is only an interim program. I assume that, since the actual disposal of the property to the countries concerned will be accomplished through the State Department, you will take the necessary steps to insure the agreement of the various nations concerned to the policies you enunciate.
Pending further advice from you, no further action will be taken on shipments to Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras, Panama, and Nicaragua. No shipment is contemplated for Argentina, since no Bi-Lateral Staff Conversations were held with that nation.
In view of your request that the amounts to be made available to Bolivia and Paraguay be reduced, I am deleting one (1) Battery of Field Artillery, Light (T/O & E 6X155) from the interim allocation for each of these countries.
The allocations with respect to aircraft will be amended in accordance with your desires. It is hoped that an early decision regarding tactical planes, and AT–11s, will be forthcoming.
The War Department is setting aside the equipment agreed upon and, pending further advice from you that the negotiations with the various countries have been made, steps are being taken to have this equipment ready for prompt shipment.
I feel certain that the action being taken by the United States at this time toward the implementation of the Policies set forth in State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee paper 4/10 and approved by the President in State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee paper 4/1269 will, if consummated at an early date, serve to strengthen the solidarity of the Pan American Union, and will be to the best interests of the national security.
- Memorandum dated August 13, 1945, not printed.↩