Memorandum by the Chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board ( Landis ) to the Secretary of State

My Dear Mr. Secretary: I am submitting herewith a brief report of my activities in connection with my recent mission to Argentina to conclude a bilateral air agreement between that country and the United States.

I was very fortunate in the assistance that was provided for me. Messrs. John Bell and Thomas Carter of the Aviation Division of the State Department were not only thoroughly competent in their field but also in their efforts to bring about the desired end of the mission. Mr. Cloyce J. Tippett of the Civil Aeronautics Administration, whom I was fortunate enough to enlist in this enterprise, because of his earlier experience in the Argentine and his knowledge of all the important men in the field of aviation, was an invaluable aide.

The Argentine Negotiating Committee of private individuals [Page 247] headed by Dr. Ferreira, Director of Civil Aviation, met with us several times during the first week. We made no progress with this committee. They remained insistent upon their formulas for undue limitation of fifth freedom rights and division of traffic—formulas which we could not accept under any circumstances. It will be remembered that this eventuality was anticipated by Ambassador Messersmith and that he had informed the Department at the beginning that resort would have to be made to higher levels in order to reach an agreement. The Ambassador thereupon proceeded to deal with the Foreign Minister and through the Foreign Minister with the President of the Argentine Republic. On my side I made the approach primarily through Mr. Alberto Dodero, head of the Dodero Shipping Company, and a person with very great personal influence with the President. The combination of these two approaches proved successful, for when we finally called upon the President there was a clear indication that the Argentine negotiators had been told to reach an agreement with us along the lines that we had consistently advocated. Within an hour after this visit we met again with these negotiators and in a fourteen hour session lasting from six P.M. to eight-thirty A.M. we hammered out the agreement.54 The agreement does not cover routes as the Argentines claimed to be unready to present us with a route proposal. It is anticipated, however, that we shall come to an agreement shortly on the matter of the routes. President Perón also exhibited interest in the possibility of a Technical Mission being sent to the Argentine. This mission would consist of Civil Aeronautics Administration experts and of course would be paid for by the Argentine Government so that no expense would rest upon this government. The Civil Aeronautics Administration, according to my understanding, is anxious to give the Argentines this kind of technical assistance.

. . . . . . .

Sincerely yours,

James M. Landis
  1. Announced May 1, 1947; see Department of State Bulletin, May 11, 1947, p. 938.