Memorandum by the Deputy Director of the Office of Regional American Affairs (Jamison) to the Director of Operations, Department of the Air Force (Ramey)1



  • Extension of Military Aviation Mission Agreement with El Salvador.

Reference is made to your memorandum of December 15, 19532 to Mr. George O. Spencer, subject as above, in which the Department of the Air Force concurred in the extension of the Military Aviation Mission Agreement with El Salvador, which expired on December 31, 1953, but suggested an amendment which would give the United States Government exclusive criminal jurisdiction over members of the Air Force Mission in El Salvador.

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Our Embassy at San Salvador was instructed to enter into negotiations with the Salvadoran Government to obtain the amendment to the Agreement desired by the Department of the Air Force, as well as certain other amendments so that the Agreement would reflect current United States Department of Defense organization. (See Department of State Instruction No. 46 of January 19, 1954 to Embassy San Salvador.3) This instruction was subsequently suspended, however, in view of the development of a press campaign in El Salvador and elsewhere in Central America in which allegations are being made that the United States is trying to extend its military influence in the area in an unwarranted manner and has obtained privileges for its military personnel in the case of Nicaragua which jeopardize that country’s sovereignty. In view of these propaganda moves, as well as the fact that delicate negotiations with El Salvador for a military assistance agreement under the Mutual Security Program may soon begin, it is our judgment that efforts at this time to obtain El Salvador’s agreement to the amendment mentioned above would not be successful and might even endanger the success of the negotiations for a military assistance agreement with El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua which are deemed to be of great importance in relation to the entire Central American situation. Approval by the Salvadoran legislature of the recently concluded Army Mission Agreement might also be affected adversely.

This Department believes, in view of the foregoing, and considering the general political situation in Cental America that it would not be desirable at this time to press for the proposed amendment to Article 11 of the Military Aviation Mission Agreement with El Salvador but recommends instead that the Agreement be extended in its present form and the amendment be sought at a later and more opportune time. Ambassador McDermott, who has been in Washington on consultation, concurs in this view.

I would appreciate being informed whether the Department of the Air Force would concur in extending the Agreement on this basis.4

Edward A. Jamison
  1. Maj. Gen. R. M. Ramey. This memorandum was drafted by Mr. Sayre; cleared with the Office of Middle American Affairs.
  2. Not printed (716.58/12–1553).
  3. Not printed (716.58/12–1553).
  4. No reply to this memorandum was found in Department of State files. For text of the exchange of notes signed at San Salvador, Dec. 2, 1953, and Mar. 11, 1954, entered into force on the latter date (operative retroactively to Dec. 31, 1953), extending the Agreement of Aug. 19, 1947, providing for a U.S. Military Aviation Mission to El Salvador, see 4 UST 416.