800.24/11–245: Airgram

The Ambassador in the Dominican Republic ( McGurk ) to the Secretary of State

446. Reference Department’s secret airgram A–348 of October 26 regarding initial ground force units envisaged in staff conversations. In this relation please see our secret despatch number 382 of October 10, 1945, especially the ante-penultimate and the penultimate paragraphs thereof. The Naval Attaché, the Military Attaché and the Embassy agree that unless the political factor is such that something must be done as outlined in the Department’s secret airgram under acknowledgment, we do not favor the forwarding of any arms or munitions of this regime.

The program set forth for the Dominican Republic to consist of one infantry rifle company, one light field artillery battery, totalling approximately 280 to 351 men, including equipment of approximately 340 carbines, rifles, pistols, machine guns, sub-machine guns, might well constitute the initial unit envisaged in the standardization program provided there is some United States military personnel to supervise the proper use of this equipment for training. Such supervisory personnel might well be a small mission consisting of one officer of field grade and three or four non-commissioned officers. If such supervision is not furnished with this equipment we will merely be furnishing so many more weapons for distribution among various garrisons of the army in the Republic and the entire purpose behind the staff conversations will be lost, since no standardization of training, organization or equipment can be effected by furnishing the Dominican Army with a small number of weapons which will not be put to the proper end use envisaged in the standardization program of the staff conversations.

If we must go forward with the program and furnish equipment together with some sort of a military mission we strongly urge that a commitment be obtained from the Dominican Government that the equipment furnished will be used solely for training purposes and that the mission will supervise the use of the equipment for training as well as supervise and direct the training program.

We are unable to comment at this time on that part of the program pertaining to the Navy and to aviation as we are awaiting the formal findings of the Boards who handled those specific matters in the staff conversations here last August.