841.796/2–746: Telegram

The Chairman of the United States Delegation (Baker) to the Secretary of State


This message is to be telephoned to addressee per instance of originator. Classification is to be disregarded in this respect for Mr. Clayton, Dept of State. Copies to be sent direct to Colonel Mitchell, Office of the Under Secretary of War for Air, and to Vice-Admiral Sherman, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for both Departmental and Joint Chiefs of Staff use. From Mr. Baker.

In reference to the two objections raised by Lord Halifax to the bases agreement, it is satisfactory to delegation here to drop reference in the final act to the use of U.K. good offices with Newfoundland and Canada. Oral assurances of such good offices have been made by Sir Henry Self here today in a formal manner and a memorandum to this effect to General Kuter from myself will form a part of the official U.S. records.

In regard to Lord Halifax’s second objection to bases agreement: His objection to monopoly position of US Delegation is based on a misunderstanding by London of US Delegation position during past 2 weeks. General Kuter joins me in recommending the following quotation as the! only wording to appear under Article VIII(A).49

“Discussions shall be held between the two governments with a view to making arrangements for the provision of necessary facilities, supplies and services to civil air carriers using the bases, and the agreement to be concluded pursuant to these heads of agreement shall contain provisions defining such arrangements and shall not enter into force until such arrangements have been made.”

This suggestion is satisfactory to British Delegation here. Makins in British Embassy50 also has the above wording. Self believes that any further suggested changes by London in bases agreement would be only of drafting character. General Kuter strongly recommends therefore that the bases agreement be put to the Joint Chiefs for approval now.

  1. In the draft submitted to the two governments for approval at the end of January (see footnote 33, p. 1466), the text read: “The Government of the United States reserves the right to rent, lease, sell or otherwise make available to the Colonial Governments or the operators of civil aircraft, without discrimination, such buildings, facilities, supplies and services where such action will not interfere with the performance of the military mission of the Base. In appropriate cases such transactions will be the subject of consultation between the local military and the Colonial authorities.” (U.S. Delegation Files, Delegation Document USD–14)
  2. Roger Makins, British Minister in the United States.