The Director of the Office of American Republic Affairs (Briggs) to Colonel R. L. Vittrup of the War Department General Staff


My Dear Colonel Vittrup: I refer to your memorandum of April 13, 1946,37 concerning the transfer of aircraft to the Army Air Forces mission in Chile. Your memorandum discusses the movement of aircraft to Chile, and then proposes that aircraft of the types agreed upon in the interim program for other American republics should be sent to the other countries, when they so request, by the Army Air Forces in order that the air forces of the recipient countries may secure transitional training to enable them to receive and handle the aircraft which they wish to purchase.

It is the Department’s opinion that the provision of adequate training facilities in connection with the transfer of aircraft under the interim program is extremely important. Since the objective of this program is to further good relations with the other American republics and to collaborate in the standardization of military organizations, it would not be to the benefit of this country merely to turn over aircraft to the other governments without being satisfied that they were capable of handling the planes to their own satisfaction.

Consequently, the Department believes that it would be desirable for the Army Air Forces to transfer to the air missions in the other American republics planes which those countries agree to be under the interim program, and take the necessary steps to insure that the air forces of the recipient countries are adequately trained in the handling of these planes when they purchase them.

I should like to point out, however, that the Department of State does not advocate transferring planes to the military missions unless the War Department is satisfied that the requirements of the Surplus Property Act38 can be met in regard to sale of these planes to the other governments. For example, I believe there is still some question as to the availability of certain cargo planes under the interim program. In making the suggestion contained in the previous paragraph, I believe it should be understood, therefore, that the War Department will accept full responsibility for the transfer of these planes to the military missions, insofar as the provisions of the Surplus Property Act are concerned. For this reason, I assume the War Department will wish to be satisfied that the recipient countries are actually prepared to acquire the specified planes at the price established by the [Page 572] Foreign Liquidation Commission before sending them to the missions in other American republics.

Sincerely yours,

Ellis O. Briggs
  1. Not printed.
  2. 58 Stat. 765; approved October 3, 1944.