The Ambassador in Honduras (Erwin) to the Secretary of State


190. Have discussed with Colonel Adams subject matter Deptel 153 December 31, 7 p.m.31 He understands clearly policy regarding withholding military equipment. The request of Ambassador Cáceres referred to engineering equipment such as bulldozers, tractors, graders, cranes, shovels, pumps, scrapers, welding equipment, trucks, et cetera. (For exact list of equipment required refer to table of organization and equipment 5415 less armaments).

Military Mission is not now advocating additional armaments for Honduras but on the contrary advocates reduction of arms to fit a small table of organization principally engineers. To accomplish this and the War Dept aim of standard US armaments throughout the hemisphere Military Mission suggests exchange of large stock of various foreign makes of arms now owned by Honduras for standard US makes.

The chief need of Honduras according to Adams is engineering equipment for road building, reservoirs and sanitary facilities in order to advance a program of civic and economic betterment. President Carías has assured Military Mission head that adequate financial arrangements for payment to the US Govt will be made.

Col. Beams’ [Adams’] projected trip to US was solely for the purpose of exploring possibilities of securing non-military equipment from surplus stocks available in Pacific area. Bertrand will not make trip to US with Adams who may proceed alone for consultation with appropriate authorities.

  1. Not printed; in it Secretary Byrnes informed Ambassador Erwin concerning the Department’s reply to Ambassador Cáceres with regard to his request of September 4 for assistance in reorganizing the Honduran Army, and his request of December 23 that Col. Adams be authorized to come to the United States with Col. Bertrand to purchase military supplies for Honduras (815.24/12–2446); see memorandum of December 26, supra.