The Chargé in Venezuela ( Dawson ) to the Secretary of State

No. 9274

Sir: I have the honor to refer to a memorandum of conversation38 between Dr. M. A. Falcon Briceno, Venezuelan Chargé d’Affaires ad interim in Washington, Lt. Colonel Jorge Marcano, Air Attaché of the Venezuelan Embassy, and Messrs. Milton K. Wells and Albert H. Gerberich of the Division of North and West Coast Affairs, dated September 12, 1946 under the subject, “Purchase of AT–6’s by Venezuelan Purchasing Commission.”

There are quoted below the comments of the Military Air Attaché of this Embassy, Lt. Colonel Carl G. Wagner, on the points raised in the memorandum:

  • “1. From the professional point of view, it is the opinion of the undersigned that it would be highly advantageous in the interest of increased efficiency in the U.S. Military Air Mission-Venezuela training program to obtain 12 or more AT–6 aircraft.’39
  • “2. Regarding the P–38, it is felt that the exportation of this type aircraft to Venezuela at the present time would be a liability rather than an asset. The maintenance of this type aircraft would present a constant difficulty, as a carrying of spare parts and special tools would be impracticable with only one such airplane in the country. The fewer different types of aircraft in a military organization the better for all concerned.”

With respect to the second point in Lt. Colonel Wagner’s memorandum quoted above, it should be recalled that six P–47 fighter-type airplanes, now in the Canal Zone, are due to arrive in Venezuela soon on assignment to the United States Army Air Mission as part of the interim program pending completion of arrangements for their sale to the Venezuelan Government. These will, of course, be available for [Page 1321] the instruction of and use by Venezuelan pilots under Air Mission supervision.

Lt. Colonel Wagner’s recommendations are concurred in by Colonel Douglas E. Williams, Chief of the Air Mission, Colonel John A. Week, Military Attaché to the Embassy, and myself. In view of the fact that Ambassador Corrigan will be in Washington at about the time of the receipt of this despatch, it is suggested, however, that the Department may wish to consult him on the matter.

Respectfully yours,

Allan Dawson
  1. Not printed.
  2. In airgram 62 of March 10, 1947, the Department indicated disapproval of additional AT–6’s for Venezuela under the policy of restricting arms exports to amounts approved in the interim program (831.248/2–2647).