Memorandum by the Chief, Munitions Division, Department of State ( Elliott ) to the Chief, Foreign Aid Division, Office of International Programs, Munitions Board, Department of Defense ( Bennett )


I am transmitting herewith for your attention copies of requests from the Embassy of Burma and from Olin Industries, Incorporated, New Haven, Connecticut,1 that priority assistance be accorded that firm to permit delivery of a quantity of ammunition covered by a contract dated May 18, 1951, between the Government of the Union of Burma and the Ameritex Development Corporation, sales representative of Olin Industries, Incorporated, in Burma.

There has been an exchange of communications with our missions in the field concerning this request, and, on the basis of these and other consultations, the Department has concluded that assistance should be granted to permit delivery of a portion but not all of the ammunition covered by the contract, as follows:

3,000,000 rounds of caliber 9 mm. parabellum;
341,500 rounds of caliber .22 long rifle; and,
144,200 rounds of caliber .38 S. and W.

The request has recently been discussed informally by officers of our respective divisions on the basis of the above figures.

The Department believes that important political reasons warrant the granting of the necessary assistance to permit delivery of the ammunition as specified in the preceding paragraph. It is requested that the Department be consulted prior to Munitions Board action in the event of an unfavorable conclusion by the Department of Defense in this matter.

Of the communications exchanged with the field on this subject, despatch No. 248 from Rangoon of September 19, 1951, summarizes the [Page 303] pertinent information. A copy is enclosed.2 Other pertinent communications, which have been made available to the Department of Defense, are enumerated in an enclosure to this memorandum.3

It is noted that an application for an export license covering all the items contracted for by the Burmese Government was concurred in by the Munitions Board Staff on June 29, 1951, Munitions Board Case No. 1818.

John C. Elliott

Chief, Munitions Division
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed. It informed the Department concerning discussions with the British Ambassador in Rangoon with regard to the United Kingdom’s reservations about the United States permitting private arms sales to the Burmese Government to the fullest extent sought by the latter. The American Ambassador recommended that the Department approve that portion of the Burmese requests to which the United Kingdom had no objections, as this would satisfy both the Burmese and the British. (490B.1182/9–1951)
  3. Not printed.