Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, by the Chief of the Division of North and West Coast Affairs (Wells)


The Ambassador39 referred to the proposed press release contained in the Embassy’s telegram 1105 of October 22,40 and asked whether it would be satisfactory. I replied affirmatively, stating that the War Department likewise believed it would be satisfactory, provided, of course, that General Crittenberger’s concurrence is obtained. (The press release simply states that the Talara Air Base will be turned over to the Peruvian Government with appropriate ceremonies on October 29, 1946.)

The Ambassador reported that he would have a meeting this afternoon with the Foreign Minister in which he hoped to thrash out the final details. He will telephone the Department before 6 o’clock whether or not full agreement has been reached on release of said press statement to the morning papers of October 24. The only remaining points to be solved are:

Payment of $91,000 for the equipment listed in category 2, which Peru is buying. The Peruvians wish to deposit soles and to be permitted to deliver a dollar check at a later date. The FLC Commissioner, however, insists upon the dollar check, and the Ambassador [Page 1224] inquired whether the Department could authorize delayed dollar payment. I replied that the responsibility is solely that of FLC; that I only hoped satisfactory arrangements could be made this afternoon so as to remove this obstacle. The Ambassador thought it might be possible to do so.
Colonel McCoy is still endeavoring to arrange for the operation of the weather and meteorological equipment (which the United States Government is not permitted to sell to Peru) by the U.S. Aviation Mission personnel. I remarked that the War Department concurs in the Department’s opinion that this matter should not further delay delivery of the Base on the 29th, and that, if necessary, as a last recourse the Army should remove said equipment.
The Peruvian Government still refuses to give direct publicity to the fact that a small number of technical personnel will remain in Peru in connection with the ARP program. I told the Ambassador the Department feels that in this matter we probably must defer to Peru to judge the probable effect on the local political situation, and that here again we feel that disagreement on this point need not delay the turning over of the Base. I suggested that it might be feasible to make at least indirect references to this situation by referring to the recent signing of the Air Mission contract and, in this connection, to make some references to the fact that there will be continued cooperation in a training program which will be conducted by this Aviation Mission.

Upon the Ambassador’s inquiry, I replied that State and War are fully satisfied with the assurances relieving the United States Government of present or future claims in connection with the land rights of International Petroleum Company as reported in the Embassy’s telegram 1104 of October 22.41 I told the Ambassador that the Department, as well as the War Department, feel that in general the arrangements as now effected are satisfactory; and therefore feel that the aforementioned difficulties can be entrusted to the good judgment of the Ambassador and General Crittenberger and that they should not be permitted to delay delivery of the Base on October 29. I mentioned at this point that Dr. Ulloa, Peruvian Delegate to the U.N., had urged in the strongest terms that the Base be delivered promptly.

The Ambassador said that he understands that the Foreign Minister, who probably will leave shortly for New York, would welcome an opportunity to visit Washington. I said that the Department would, of course, more than welcome an opportunity of talking to the Minister either en route to New York or at some later date which might be arranged at the Minister’s convenience. The Ambassador thought the Foreign Minister would prefer to go directly to New York first. In any case, he will report further on this subject.

  1. The Ambassador in Peru (Cooper).
  2. Telegram not printed; the press release was issued October 27, 1946.
  3. Not printed.