The United States Embassy in France to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs 1

No. 927

The Embassy of the United States of America presents its compliments to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has the honor to refer to the Embassy’s Note No. 850 of Sept. 13,2 and to a personal conversation between the Ambassador and Mr. Chauvel3 concerning the sale of aircraft manufactured in France to Bulgaria.

This matter was the subject of a personal letter, dated September 24, from Monsieur Hervé Alphand to Mr. Railey, the Embassy’s Civil Air Attaché.4

The Embassy is instructed by the Department of State to reemphasize the importance which the Government o thfe United States attaches to the support which other nations may give to the American policy which is to prohibit the sale of all aircraft and aircraft components to the Soviet Union and the satellite nations. In addition to this question of policy, the Embassy would invite the Ministry’s attention to the reports of the Balkan Commission5 and point out, in [Page 467] response to Monsieur Alphand’s observations that the first of the Junkers 52 aircraft already delivered is being used on a commercial air service, that the history of the recent war is replete with examples of the effective contribution which transport type aircraft can make to a military effort.

The Ministry’s attention is further invited to Article XVII of the Bulgarian Peace Treaty,6 which expressly provides that:

“Bulgaria shall not acquire or manufacture civil aircraft which are of German or Japanese design or which embody major assemblies of German or Japanese manufacture or design.”

The Embassy has been instructed to express the hope that the Ministry will find it possible to reconsider the question of the sale of aircraft and aircraft components to the Soviet Union and satellite countries, in the light of the foregoing observations.

  1. The source text was transmitted to the Department of State as an enclosure to despatch No. 1246, October 11, 1948, from Paris, not printed.
  2. In July and August 1948 it was learned that French industrial concerns had delivered seven small aircraft to Bulgaria and had also contracted for the sale to Bulgaria of three Junkers JU–52 transport aircraft, one of which had already been delivered. Expressions of the Department of State’s concern regarding the sale of aircraft to Bulgaria were made to the French Embassy in Washington and to officers of the French Foreign Ministry during August. Acting on the instructions of the Department of State, the Embassy in its note No. 850, September 13, to the French Foreign Ministry (not printed; the text was included as an enclosure to despatch No. 1246, October 11, from Paris), the Embassy in Paris expressed the hope that the French Government would reconsider its policy of permitting the sale of aircraft to satellite states.
  3. Jean Chauvel, Secretary General of the French Foreign Ministry.
  4. The letter under reference from Hervé Alphand, Director General for Economic, Financial and Technical Affairs in the French Foreign Ministry to Civil Air Attaché Howard B. Railey, not printed, was transmitted to the Department as an enclosure to despatch No. 1246, October 11, from Paris. The substance of Alphand’s letter is described in this note and in telegram 5179, October 3, from Paris, p. 469.
  5. For documentation regarding the reports of the United Nations Special Committee on the Balkans, see pp. 222 ff.
  6. For the text of the Treaty of Peace with Bulgaria, signed at Paris, February 10, 1947, see Department of State Treaties and Other International Acts Series No. 1650. For additional documentation regarding the efforts of the United States to achieve fulfillment of the Balkan peace treaties, see pp. 279 ff.