800.24/10–2545: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Bolivia (Thurston)18

690. Re Dept’s circInstruction Sept. 11, 194519 and enclosure. War Dept has submitted program designed to equip suitable initial ground force units envisaged in staff conversations.

Program for Bolivia, Paraguay provides equipment for one infantry battalion, one light field artillery battery comprising 624 and 121 men respectively. Equipment includes 799 carbines, rifles, pistols; [Page 570] 39 machine, sub-machine guns; 4 howitzers; 11 mortars. Larger programs for Chile, Peru, Uruguay, which are being approved, consist of similar equipment for one infantry regiment and one field artillery battalion for Chile, Peru; 2 infantry battalions and 2 field artillery batteries for Uruguay.

Dept has considered program for Paraguay, Bolivia from point of view of standardization program, possibility of countries obtaining equipment from non-American sources, budget requirements, status of Lend-Lease payments, internal political situation, but has withheld its approval pending receipt of your opinions and recommendations for your country based upon these considerations.

Dept also wishes your opinions and recommendations on War Dept program for aircraft, which includes, for Paraguay 8 B–25’s (medium bombers), one C–47 (transport), 3 AT–11’s (advanced bombing trainer); for Bolivia 15 P–47’s (fighters), 4 C–47’s, 3 C–45’s (smaller transport). Dept has requested of War Dept further justification for these proposals in terms of units to be equipped. For Chile, Peru, Uruguay Dept is approving transfer of non-tactical planes (advanced trainers, transports) pending War Dept justification.

This matter should not be discussed with any representatives of the government to which you are accredited.

  1. This telegram was sent to the Ambassador in Paraguay as No. 335, October 25, 8 p.m., and repeated to the Ambassador in Bolivia as No. 690.
  2. Ante, p. 249.