Lieutenant Colonel Charles I. Davis, of the Logistics Division, Department of the Army, to the Assistant Chief of the Munitions Division (Hamilton)

Dear Mr. Hamilton: Reference is made to your letter dated 8 March 1949 regarding the availability of certain items listed therein.

In the past the Department of the Army has conducted transactions with the Commerce International Corporation and its predecessor, Ellis-Novak Company, whereby a certain quantity of tanks and spare parts were made available to them for subsequent transfer to the Nationalist Government of China on a scrap return basis. These transactions had the full approval of the Department of State as they arose, and it was by this means that the Department of the Army made available at that time all then existing surplus tanks and spare parts.

In the present instance it would appear that the Commerce International Corporation has approached the British on this subject because Department of the Army surplus stocks on these items were exhausted. With the exception of Sherman tanks, the items mentioned are British vehicles and except for wartime exigencies are not normally [Page 503] stocked or handled by the Department of the Army and therefore none of the latter types are available.

If the Nationalist Government of China is desirous of receiving comparable United States type equipment, statutory authority (Public Laws 47253 and 79354—80th Congress), as well as operating procedures are in effect; assuming, of course, sufficient funds are available in connection with the cited statutory authority to cover the request. Therefore, under these conditions the Chinese may deal directly with the United States Government without recourse to Commerce International Corporation.

Sincerely yours,

Charles I. Davis
  1. Approved April 3, 1948; 62 Stat. 137.
  2. Approved June 28, 1948; 62 Stat. 1054.