109. Editorial Note

On July 22, William Wieland, in a memorandum to Assistant Secretary Rubottom, recalled the major developments in the U.S. Government’s policy of cutting back on arms shipments to the Batista government and pointed out that the Military Assistance Advisory Group in Havana had asked the Department of State to approve the sale to Cuba of two items it defined as noncombat equipment. The two items were both aircraft parts, which Wieland argued could not be considered as noncombat items. In response to Wieland’s request for his views, Rubottom wrote in the margin: “Agree.”

Wieland recommended that the Department approve only those pending items that clearly fell within the definition of “noncombat equipment,” such as a fire truck, a 2½–ton trailer, communications equipment, telescopes, and spare parts for a C–47 cargo aircraft. He emphasized that spare parts for military aircraft should not be approved. Wieland said that if Rubottom accepted his recommendation, he would take the necessary steps to approve the items for shipment. In the margin Rubottom wrote: “Approve. RRR.” (Department of State, Central Files, 737.56/7–2258)