811.24514/2–1848: Airgram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Guatemala


A–94. Reference Embassy’s despatch 97 of February 18, 1948 concerning disposal of ADP airfield at Guatemala City. After discussion with officers of ATC, Engineers Corps, and Air Force, the Department is satisfied that proposed liquidation of ADP program La Aurora airport can be carried out in a manner that will in no way disturb status quo of occupancy of Gruatemala City and San José airbases, and has accordingly authorized Department of Army to proceed with negotiations with PAA. Arrangements will presumably result in a settlement satisfactory to PAA, which will be in a position to show full ownership inventoried equipment if its claim should ever be challenged by Guatemalan Government or if this aspect should come up for discussion at time of termination PAA’s operating concession in 1950. Like ADP agreement itself, the liquidation proceedings and inventory transfer will be conducted in secret.1

  1. In telegram 157, April 20, 1949, 11 a. m., not printed, the Ambassador in Guatemala (Patterson) stated:

    “San José airbase transferred Guatemala April 19 in simple but impressive ceremony (Embdes 189 April 7 [not printed]). Initial press reaction very good. Col. Arana, in accepting behalf Guatemala Government, stated XJS could depend on Guatemala support in defense hemisphere and democracy should future occasion arise.” (811.24514/4–2049)

    In telegram 495, October 31, 1949, 3 p. m., not printed, the Chargé in Guatemala (Wells) reported that Guatemala City USAF sub base had been transferred to Guatemalan Government on that day with appropriate ceremonies and all personnel evacuated (811.24514/10–3149).