The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Mexico (Messersmith)
A–2061. Reference is made to your telephone conversations with officers of the Department concerning certain United States Army airplanes presently in Mexico which the Air Forces propose to permit the Mexican Air Forces to operate for training purposes. Reference is also made to a telegram sent the Military Attaché by the War Department granting him the authority to make this loan of War Department property.[Page 1134]
The Department understands that the general conditions underlying the use of this equipment include:
- That the equipment in question is loaned to the Mexican Government for training purposes only and that operation of the aircraft is maintained in order that temporary storage is unnecessary. It is agreed that the airplanes are not to be used for any other purpose.
- That, while title to these airplanes now rests in the War Department, United States Army Air Force insignia may be replaced with Mexican insignia, provided that such a request comes from a source higher than the Air Force level.
- That this Government and any agency or instrumentality thereof shall not be responsible for any property or other damage, and/or injury and/or loss of life, which may occur through the operation of these airplanes and equipment while they are on loan to the Mexican Government, and that any and all such responsibility shall be assumed by the Mexican Government.
The Department has no objection to your addressing a note to the Mexican Foreign Office reciting these provisions. It feels, however, that Point (2) above should be stressed as it would be reluctant, in view of possible political repercussions, for this equipment to be used with United States insignia. For this reason, in the event of an exchange of notes, you are instructed to state:
That, while title to this equipment rests with the Government of the United States, it shall, while on loan to the Mexican Government and while being operated for training purposes by that Government, bear Mexican insignia.