Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Robert Dorr of the Office of South American Affairs


Subject: Peruvian Requests for Armaments1

Participants: Ambassador Berckemeyer, Peruvian Embassy
OSA—Ambassador Warren
Mr. Bernbaum
Mr. Dorr

Ambassador Berckemeyer called to advise regarding his recent discussions in Lima on Peruvian requests for armaments. He stated he discussed these with President Odria, General Noriega,2 Admiral Saldías and others and that all were in general agreement Peruvian requests must be reviewed, scaled down and priority listing established.3 The Ambassador said this was being done now in Lima and that revised requests would be submitted though the review period might be somewhat lengthy.

With respect to the two submarines Peru has on pending order with the Electric Boat Company, Ambassador Berckemeyer said they are strongly desired by Peru as replacements and that Peru wants construction started on them at once. He said Peru gives them top priority in its armaments request and urged that the Department give the necessary approval to the Electric Boat Company.

Ambassador Warren said that the Department would take action on this revised armaments request as soon as received from Peru though it was emphasized there would not only be delays in supplying the requested armaments but unquestionably some armaments may not be available for very long periods of time. Ambassador Berckemeyer said this aspect was known to and understood by Peravian officials both here and in Lima.

With respect to the submarines, Ambassador Warren said action would be taken on the Peruvian note on the subject on which action has been delayed pending definite advice from Peru. He also suggested [Page 1605] Ambassador Berckemeyer inform Admiral Miles and the Electric Boat Company of Peru’s continued desire for two submarines.

Ambassador Berckemeyer also stated Peru had definitely given up the idea of purchasing any jet aircraft but was determined to proceed with the purchase of 25 F–47 craft. Ambassador Warren thanked him for the information and said it would be communicated to the appropriate officer of the Department.

  1. Documents pertaining to Peruvian military requests are in Department of State decimal files 723.5 and 723.5–MAP.
  2. Gen. Zenón Noriega, Minister of War and President of the Peruvian Cabinet.
  3. On June 1, 1951, Mr. Warren, Mr. Jamison, Mr. William F. Gray, and Ambassador Berckemeyer had discussed Peruvian requests for military equipment at the Department of State. The memorandum of that conversation, by Mr. Jamison, dated June 1, reads in part as follows: “During the conversation the potential expense to the Peruvian Government involved in these various requests, the unavailability of many of the kinds of equipment requested, and the necessity that requests be reviewed in terms of the items most needed and most likely to be useful, were emphasized. It was suggested that he [Ambassador Berckemeyer] might wish to submit a new Note summarizing the items which Peru now wishes to request.” (723.5-MAP/6–151)