The Chargé in Uruguay (Sparks) to the Secretary of State


570. For Merchant42 from Mitchell.43 Called today on Foreign Minister44 and Pratt de Maria FonOff representative on Commission with which I expect to meet tomorrow.

[Page 1286]

Pratt de Maria stressed he was not speaking for Commission but indicated possible Uruguayan desire to insure minimum number stops Montevideo and suggested exchange of diplomatic notes or possibly direct understanding with Pan American. He said while Carrasco now has much better facilities than Buenos Aires, Argentina may well develop better airport in near future and Uruguay fears airlines may then overfly and stop only in Buenos Aires. We stated matter must be considered in relation to joint release with British of September 1945 and also as precedent.

Embassy believes Uruguay is not so much concerned with Pan American’s future failure to stop as with desire for precedent for agreements with other countries.

Local Pan American representative is unable give Pan American’s position without consultation but states Uruguay facilitates maintenance and refueling and believes Pan American will always desire make reasonable number of stops here.

Doubtful questions are effected on Pan American’s plans for operation, possible precedent whereby small countries could require US carriers to stop elsewhere, and meaning of “pre-determination of frequencies” in paragraph 4 B of joint release of September 19. If we agree to minimum number stops, believe proper method is by route description in annex with obligation to continue only so long as airport facilities at Montevideo are adequate for technical and operational requirements of US airlines. Will explore question further here but request instructions general US position. [Mitchell.]

  1. Livingston T. Merchant, Chief of the Aviation Division.
  2. Presumably Lt. Col. William Mitchell, Office of the Assistant Secretary of War for Air.
  3. Eduardo Rodriguez Larreta.
  4. Department of State Bulletin, September 29, 1946, p. 577.