821.248/1–1146: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Colombia (Wiley)


24. In conversation January 8, Assistant Secretary Braden agreed with General Arnold to approve interim allocation of military aircraft to Colombia as follows: 2 PBY’s or OA–10’s, 8 B–25’s, 25 P–47’s, 3 C–47’s, 2 C–45’s, 5 AT–11’s, 2 AT–6’s, 15 PT’s.15

Approval of this interim allocation is subject to your concurrence and to views of Colombian Govt should it not wish to receive full number approved by you. (For example Colombia has not to our knowledge requested bombers and we certainly are not seeking to [Page 653] promote demand for military aircraft. Bombers were included by War Dept for Colombia apparently because requested by Venezuela, Peru, and Chile.) Approximately the same number of tactical planes (P–47’s and B–25’s) have been allocated to Colombia, Peru and Chile, with a smaller allocation to Venezuela.

It was further understood that any “implied commitment” on the delivery of planes to other American republics resulting from staff conversations will be discharged when planes in interim allocation are made available. No further allocations of military planes to other American republics will be made until State and War Depts review and agree on basic policies of program of military collaboration.

No decision as to exact price for planes has as yet been made, but combat planes will probably be made available at low figure, and prices will be same to all countries. Dept has recommended that General Arnold not discuss question of price with officials of other governments on his forthcoming trip.

Please telegraph Dept whether you approve allocations mentioned above. Although you will no doubt wish to consult U.S. military air officers, your decision should, of course, take political and economic factors into account.

The foregoing information is not to be disclosed to Colombian officials. For your information questions of procedure on disposal of planes are still to be worked out. Dept will inform Colombian Ambassador here as soon as ground and air force equipment can be made available, and you will be informed.

  1. The B-25’s and P-47’s were bomber planes; the remainder were transport planes.