839.24/11–445: Airgram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the Dominican Republic ( McGurk )

A–390. For the reasons indicated in the Department’s circular telegram of October 6, 8 a.m.,27 it will not be possible for the Dominican Government to obtain under lend-lease the ammunition mentioned in your telegram 431 of November 4, 11 a.m. You are requested when necessary to reiterate to Dominican officials this Government’s current policy on lend-lease.

For your confidential information it is also the Department’s policy to oppose for political reasons the shipment of arms and ammunition to the Dominican Republic at this time and the Department supports your opposition to such shipments as expressed in your despatch no. 382 of October 10 and your A–446 of November 2.

In this connection Winchester Repeating Arms Company called the Department on November 7 to state that it had received from the [Page 988] Dominican Embassy a request for a quotation on the following quantities of cartridges:

  • 500,000 caliber .45 for Colt automatic pistols
  • 200,000 caliber .50 for machine guns
  • 1,600,000 caliber .30/40 Krag
  • 10,000,000 caliber .30/06
  • 5,000,000 caliber 7 mm.

Winchester wished an informal expression of the Department’s attitude on the issuance of the required export licenses prior to its undertaking the studies necessary to make a quotation. Winchester is being advised to inform the Dominican Embassy that the Embassy should take up with the Department any request it may wish to make for cartridges.

The Department has also received a call from the Remington Arms Company stating that the Dominican Assistant Military Attaché28 had inquired of them as to the possibility of obtaining a total of 17,000,000 rounds of ammunition of various types. Remington requested the Department’s views on the answer it should give the Attaché. The Department advised Remington to inform the Attaché that he should initiate a matter of this kind with the Department, and the Company stated that it would do so.

For your information any requests for arms and ammunition made of the Department by the Dominican Embassy will be rejected, in conformity with the policy stated in the second paragraph of this airgram.

The Department is informing the Embassy at London of the information in your telegram of November 4 that the British Chargé was approached for 50,000 rounds of Enfield ammunition. The Department is requesting that the Embassy informally advise the British Foreign Office (1) of the Dominican Government’s request of this Government for a much larger amount of ammunition; (2) of this Government’s intention not to supply arms or ammunition to the Dominican Government at the present time because they could only be used against the Dominican people or Haiti; and (3) of this Government’s interest in knowing whether the British will also refrain from furnishing arms and ammunition in the interests of peace in Hispaniola.

Please keep the Department informed regarding all efforts by the Dominican Government to obtain arms and ammunition that may come to your attention.

  1. Ante, p. 256.
  2. Capt. Amado Hernandez P.