Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Aviation Affairs ( Walstrom ) to the Chief of the Division ( Morgan )

In discussing the forthcoming Bermuda conference with Mr. Baker late Saturday afternoon, he asked that I give you a list of items which I thought would have to be considered in connection with this conference.

Form of Agreement: While both countries profess adherence to the standard form of agreement drawn up at Chicago, the agreement which the British negotiated with the Greeks is somewhat different from the bilaterals which we have negotiated with various countries. This is particularly true in the Annex, where the British incorporated their ideas as to Fifth Freedom limitations, embarked traffic, controlled frequencies, rates, etc.7
Fifth Freedom: Recent telegrams from London and Stockholm confirm that the British are trying to bring pressure on other countries to restrict Fifth Freedom traffic. Some time ago we drew up a paper8 discussing the points on which we might compromise the Fifth Freedom if absolutely necessary. Since this paper has not been seriously discussed, I assume we are confident that we will have our way. If we are not confident, then we had better start thinking about some of our minimum desiderata short of the full Fifth Freedom, such as the right of American citizens to travel on their own aircraft, etc.
Routes: If we intend to sign up a formal bilateral in Bermuda, it will of course mean that all of the routes should be specified.9 The CAB has not yet come out with its Pacific decision, and we are therefore not sure as to whether such British points as Hong Kong and [Page 1454] Singapore will be served. It is also uncertain as to whether other points of interest to the British, such as Siam, will be served. There is a further question as to whether TWA can get into Ceylon. Also, do we intend to go into Accra or Lagos on the way to South Africa? If at all possible, it would be desirable for the Board to have its definite-route pattern fixed in respect to all areas affecting British territory.
For the Agreement between the United Kingdom and Greece for Air Services in Europe with annex and exchange of notes, dated November 26, 1945, see British Cmd. 6722.
British Opposition in Other Countries: It would, of course, be desirable to get British assurance that they would withdraw their opposition to our negotiation of full Fifth Freedom rights in countries such as Egypt, Greece, Iraq, Iran and Belgium.10
India: As yet we have not received the Indian counter-proposal to our bilateral agreement. Unconfirmed reports indicate that India will be a hard nut to crack, and that she may insist on all traffic across-India, say between Karachi and Calcutta, being carried by an Indian airline. Presumably, India will be largely influenced by the British, and any clarification we can get as to just what our future position will be, will be extremely helpful in concluding our bilateral.11
Newfoundland: While this has a certain bearing on the 99–year base problem,12 it looks as though traffic rights for U.S. airlines at Newfoundland are going to require some special negotiation. Latest information is to the effect that Newfoundland will grant us Third and Fourth Freedom rights on a limited number of schedules, but that they will ask for reciprocity which, in turn, would be exercised by BOAC. We have never agreed to any such arrangement (i.e., the use of reciprocal rights by a third party) and rejected a similar proposal offered by the South Africans.
Australia, New Zealand and South Africa: It is not known how much the Bermuda talks will touch on our operations to the British dominions, but there are certain problems which may overlap. For instance, Australia and New Zealand apparently plan a joint operation to the United States in which these two countries and the United Kingdom will participate. Informal reports indicate that Australia will not grant the Fifth Freedom to anyone. The situation is somewhat [Page 1455] complicated: we could not grant reciprocity to any of the three countries proposing to operate the joint service from Australasia without making sure that all of these parties grant us satisfactory rights. The CAB has been requested to draft some language to incorporate in our standard form agreement which might take care of this situation. South Africa still has some ideas regarding balanced frequencies, simultaneous inauguration of service, etc., which may come up at the Bermuda talks.
Ninety-nine Tear Leased Bases: It is hoped that all of the interested government agencies will be able to formulate an overall U.S. position before the Bermuda talks with respect to the British note of January 2.13 If we can work out satisfactory traffic rights at these and other bases, particularly Newfoundland, I do not think it is absolutely imperative that we finalize the technical and military aspects of this problem at the Bermuda conference, although this would of course be desirable if the interested agencies can formulate an overall position by that time.
Other Airports: It may be desirable to discuss the matter of other airports desired for our whole route pattern as applied to British territory. For instance, the matter of a suitable land airport and weather alternates in England; the possible use of Bahrein until Dhahran is completed, etc.
Communications, etc.: This is a matter I know very little about but perhaps Bermuda would offer the opportunity to work out a common policy with respect to communications and other air navigation matters.
Libya: TWA is certificated to go into Tripoli and Benghazi. Our Legation at Cairo has endeavored to obtain landing rights in this connection, but the matter of traffic rights at these two points is still being deliberated in London. We should try to get British assurance that we will have full traffic rights at these points.
Germany, Austria, etc.: Apart from the question of whether the U.S. should participate in internal traffic in these countries, we should try to get British assurance that they will support our efforts to get U.S. international air services operating not only through Germany and Austria but also through other ex-enemy countries in Europe where an Allied Commission is supposed to operate.
Italy: TWA wants to set up an American-Italian operating company for internal Italian services, but apparently is opposed not only [Page 1456] by the British but also by the U.S. air representative on the Allied Council. Maybe this could be straightened out at Bermuda.
J. D. Walstrom
  1. For documentation regarding the International Civil Aviation Agreements signed at Chicago on December 7, 1944 see Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. ii, pp. 355 ff. Among the Chicago documents was the “Form of Standard Agreement for Provisional Air Routes,” generally referred to as the “Chicago standard form.” Mr. Walstrom, in describing this type of agreement in an article in the Department of State Bulletin, December 22, 1946, p. 1126, observed about the annex to the Chicago type of agreement: “[It] is usually confined to describing the routes and traffic points granted to the air services of each contracting party. It imposes no restrictions on capacity of aircraft or number of schedules which may be operated, not does it provide for determination of rates. It likewise places no limitation on the carriage of fifth-freedom traffic (the international traffic to, from, or between one or more intermediate points on the designated route).”
  2. Not found in Department files.
  3. The CAB decision regarding Atlantic, European and Near Eastern routes is detailed in a circular telegram of July 5, 1945; see Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. ii, p. 1460.
  4. This issue is discussed in some detail in instruction 183 of August 20, 1945, from the Secretary of State to the United States Political Adviser in Germany (Murphy); see Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. ii, p. 1469.
  5. For documentation on this matter, see vol. v, pp. 112 ff.
  6. Four-way discussions between the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the Commission Government of Newfoundland, regarding the use of airfields in the 99–year leased bases in the Newfoundland-Labrador area by civil aircraft for commercial purposes were in progress as early as Januay 1945 and continued throughout the rest of 1945 without any conclusive result. Parallel discussions were proceeding at virtually the same time between the United States and the United Kingdom regarding the same question as it pertained to the 99-year leased bases in Bermuda and the Caribbean area. Documentation on both series of discussions is found in the archives of the Department of State, principally File 811.34544.
  7. Not printed; it was in reply to an United States note of September 8, 1945 in which the United States agreed to the use by commercial aircraft of the United States military airfields in the 99–year leased bases in Bermuda and the Caribbean subject to nine “understandings” which were then set forth in the balance of the note (811.34544/1–246 and 811.34544/8–2545, respectively).