817.20/8–945: Telegram

The Ambassador in Nicaragua ( Warren ) to the Secretary of State

416. My despatch No. 2996 of April 622 and Department’s instruction No. 25 of June 30.23 General Brett has sought my written approval of bringing to Nicaragua from the Canal Zone a limited quantity of small arms with which to train the Nicaraguan cadets prior to their departure for Balboa.

I do not consider that the cadets should receive training in Nicaragua in the use of any arms which Nicaragua does not possess or is not soon to receive. Recent changes in our Lend-Lease policies24 make it seem unlikely that Nicaragua will soon receive new weapons except, possibly, the Springfield rifles which I believe the President would buy if we were prepared to sell. In fact, one of the principal objectives of the Canal Zone trip, namely, to train the cadets in weapons which Nicaragua was soon to receive, seems to be negated by the new changes.

In all the circumstances, I believe the trip should not be cancelled but I should like the concurrence of the Dept in withholding approval of the project of bringing arms to Nicaragua at this time.25

  1. Not printed; in this despatch the Chargé (Finley) commented at length on arrangements made by General Brett for sending the cadets of the Nicaraguan Military Academy and about ten officers of the Nicaraguan National Guard to the Panama Canal Zone for three weeks’ training in the use of arms not available in Nicaragua (817.20/4–645).
  2. Not printed; the Department approved the project.
  3. For documentation concerning Lend Lease policies, see pp. 231 ff.
  4. In a memorandum of August 11, attached to the file copy of this telegram, Avra Warren indicated that he brought the contents of the telegram to the attention of Brig. Gen. Kenner F. Hertford, A.U.S., who assured Mr. Warren that General Brett would be instructed not to send the weapons to Nicaragua (817.20/8–945).