The Ambassador in Bolivia ( Thurston ) to the Secretary of State

No. 1624

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Embassy’s despatch No. 1206 of July 12, 1945,17 “Utilization by Bolivia of Lend-Lease Aviation Equipment in Operation Presumably Competing with Established Commercial Airlines,” and the Embassy’s telegram No. 641 of June 19, 1945 and to report that despite the fact that the opinion of the United States Government that Lend-Lease equipment was issued to Latin American governments solely for the defense of this hemisphere and, consequently, should not be utilized for other purposes, the Bolivian Army at the instigation of the Bolivian Development Corporation (notably the Agricultural Expert attached thereto, Mr. E. Reeseman Fryer) has proceeded with its plan and is now actually engaged in the transportation of beef from the lowlands to this city in the C–47 planes [Page 568] granted the Army under the United States-Bolivia Lend-Lease Agreement.

I know of no manner in which the Embassy or even the United States Government can deter the Bolivian Army and Bolivian Government from continuing this operation. There appears to be nothing in the Lend-Lease Agreement which forbids the utilization of Lend-Lease equipment in any manner the recipient might find convenient, and moreover there is a strong likelihood that the Bolivian Government considers that in as much as it is expected to pay for material obtained under the Lend-lease Agreement, full title to such material passes to it with the concomitant right to employ it in such manner as it sees fit.

Respectfully yours,

Walter Thurston
  1. Not printed.