The Bolivian Embassy to the Department of State
1) In the month of January of the present year the Government of the United States in accordance with the terms of the Lend-Lease Agreement signed by the Government of Bolivia delivered four twin-motor Douglas C–47 military transport planes to the Bolivian Air Force.
These machines in accordance with the agreement and by subsequent clarification concerning their use in Bolivia are to be devoted exclusively to military transport, that is to say to the provisioning and moving of military personnel from the military centers of the Republic of Bolivia to their garrisons, located centrally or at the frontier, as well as to the solution of logistic problems of the School of Aviation of the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra.
2) However, Bolivia being a poor country and consequently needing the maximum amount of aid from the central Government to solve all the problems relating to the higher cost of living, our Ministry of Defense in agreement with other governmental agencies and without diverting attention from the military needs, plans to use the system of air transportation provided by the twin-motored Douglas C–47’s for providing consumer centers within the territory of the Republic with meat from the production centers. Concretely, it is planned to establish a regular transportation service for meat from the small town of Reyes located in northwestern Bolivia to the city of La Paz for the following reasons:
- Because there is no commercial aviation company which has established an air route between the two above-mentioned towns. [Page 569] Consequently there is no possibility of bringing competition to the aviation companies, national as well as international, established in the Republic of Bolivia.
- Because it is a question of overcoming a condition of scarcity, which has become alarmingly acute especially in the city of La Paz, by means of aerial transportation with army planes.
- Because it is a question of reducing the expensive and difficult importation of meat from the neighboring republic of Argentina, consequently improving commercial conditions in regard to this article in Bolivian territory, which will result in State protection for the domestic farming and livestock growing industry as well as bring about a considerable reduction in consumer prices in the city of La Paz, the capital and greatest population center of the Republic of Bolivia.
- Because it is a question of obtaining the greatest possible amount of benefit from the aviation material, as well as fuel in the training flights and the formation of new crews. Scheduled flights as planned will not be engaged in for mere training but rather as a parallel consideration and will contribute to the solution of one of the many economic problems that afflict the Bolivian people at the present time.
- Because, by this means it is a question of obtaining economic advantages to improve our air port installations and the maintenance of the aviation material.
3) As is apparent, this is a special case of the use of military planes in a country which by its geographical conformation as well as its difficult situation in regard to articles of vital necessity, has to solve a national problem without interfering with the interests of the civil aviation companies established in the country.
Therefore the Bolivian Government would very deeply and sincerely appreciate it if the Government of the United States, for the reasons explained, would make a special exception in regard to the use of military transport planes delivered to the Bolivian Air Force.