Memorandum by the Acting Secretary of State to President Truman

Our Lend-Lease Agreement with Guatemala provided that the value of material delivered by us under lend-lease should be applied in payment for certain base rights in Guatemala, which were valued for the purposes of the agreement at $3,000,000.1 Total lend-lease deliveries to Guatemala have amounted to approximately $1,500,000, leaving an obligation to deliver $1,500,000 worth of additional material to them.

Under the interim allocation of military equipment to the other American republics, Guatemala is slated to receive equipment having an original cost value of approximately $1,700,000. I propose to offer Guatemala its share of the interim allocation under lend-lease rather than as surplus property, taking in return a full discharge of our obligation under the Lend-Lease Agreement. I think this will be satisfactory to the Guatemalans and it seems a good opportunity to discharge their claim out of Army stocks without the expenditure of additional funds. You have already approved similar procedure in the case of Belgium to settle the excess of reverse lend-lease over lend-lease.2

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Do you approve of this transfer by the Army as an exception to the general rule that lend-lease transfers of arms and ammunition were to be terminated on V–J Day?3

Dean Acheson
  1. For texts of lend-lease and air-base agreements of November 16, 1942, see Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. vi, pp. 444450.
  2. For text of agreement between the United States and Belgium regarding mutual aid settlement, see Department of State Treaties and other International Acts Series (TIAS) No. 2064, or 62 Stat. (pt. 3) 3984.
  3. A marginal notation reads: “Approved 5/15/46 Harry S. Truman”. For White House press releases of August 21 and September 6 concerning the discontinuance of lend-lease operations, see Department of State Bulletin, August 26, and September 9, 1945, pp. 284 and 359, respectively.