The Ambassador in Peru (Cooper) to the Secretary of State

No. 506

Sir: I have the honor to report that the Peruvian Minister of War35 in a conversation with the chief of the United States Military Mission36 on October 7 exhibited considerable disappointment over a report from the Peruvian Embassy in Washington stating that the United States Government was unable to furnish the War Department with (1) sufficient ammunition for training purposes for the Lend-Lease arms which Peru had recently purchased and (2) a definite promise from the United States that were Peru to purchase the arms and equipment sufficient for one Infantry Regiment and one battalion of artillery as offered by the United States Government, at some future time additional equipment could be purchased.

In reference to his inability to obtain ammunition for training purposes, the Peruvian Minister of War showed the Chief of the Mission a request which he had sent to the chief of his purchasing commission in the United States for ammunition amounting to 307,000 soles. He stated that he had just received information from his representative in Washington which stated that the United States Government would not permit Peru to purchase this ammunition. This leaves Peru in the position of having some Lend-Lease American arms but not ammunition even for training purposes.

In reference to the receipt of American equipment he is reluctant to purchase equipment for one regiment of infantry and one battalion of artillery without definite assurance that at some future time he will be permitted to purchase sufficient equipment to equip the peacetime Peruvian Army entirely with American equipment.

The Chief of the United States Military Mission is of the opinion that, if possible, Peru should receive at this time definite assurance of the willingness of the United States Government to continue making available to Peru, after the initial interim allocation of equipment for one regiment Infantry and one battalion of artillery, sufficient American equipment to equip at least the Peruvian peacetime army.

He is also of the opinion that a sufficient allowance of training ammunition should be made available to Peru for use in training with the Lend-Lease arms that have been purchased by Peru. The Chief of the Military Mission is reporting this conversation with the Minister of War to his headquarters in Panama.

The above information is being transmitted to the Department to keep it advised of the situation.

Respectfully yours,

Prentice Cooper
  1. Col. Antonio Luna Ferreccio.
  2. Col. D. Charles McFarland.