Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, by the Chief of the Division of Central America and Panama Affairs (Newbegin)

Colonel Morales López7 called this morning to inquire regarding the status of deliveries to Guatemala under the arrangement terminating our lend-lease obligations. He said he was very much concerned over the delay; that he had discussed the matter on various occasions with Mr. Kempter8 but that he also wanted to bring the matter to my attention. I told him that I understood his concern; that the matter was at the moment a technical one; we were giving it our full attention and hoped that we would be able to find a satisfactory solution. In this connection, I reminded him that ever since the exchange of notes on this subject, I had been urging speedy action by the Guatemalans so that the whole arrangement could be terminated without any further complications. It had been a matter of constant concern that Guatemala had not submitted her requisitions more promptly. Colonel Morales López concurred. He stated that as things now stood, his Government was under the impression that he was doing nothing effective about the matter and said “you know these Latin American Governments don’t always understand what is happening”. I replied that for just that reason I hoped he would point out to his Government that it was largely to blame for the situation in which we now found ourselves; that if requisitions had been submitted promptly we would not be having [Page 702] our present difficulty. I said in pointing this out that I did not wish to excuse the present delay on our part but I was extremely sorry that the situation had developed as it had and that he might be certain we would do everything we could to clear the matter up. At the same time a further delay was probably inevitable. Colonel Morales López expressed his appreciation.

  1. Col. Oscar Morales López, Military and Air Attaché, Guatemalan Embassy.
  2. Charles W. Kempter, Chief of Lend-Lease Staff, Office of Foreign Liquidation.