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820.7961 Dept. of Commerce Flight/9: Telegram The Ambassador in Peru (Poindexter) to the Secretary of State

LIMA, January 17, 1928–4 p. m.

[Received 7:35 p. m.] 1. Your cable number 1, January 7, 5 [8] p. m.89 Peruvian Government authorizes with great pleasure flight over Peruvian soil, free entry of planes, equipment and supplies, and will give full and complete friendly reception to the expedition, aiding in every way possible the success of the purposes which it has in view.


820.7961 Dept. of Commerce Flight/11 : Telegram
The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Peru


WASHINGTON, January 18, 1928–5 p. m. 3. Your 1, January 17, 4 p. m. Expedition sailing January 19 steamer Santa Luisa.


820.7961 Dept. of Commerce Flight/13 : Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Bolivia (Cottrell)

WASHINGTON, January 20, 1928–5 p. m. 2. Department's No. 1, January 7.00 Department of Commerce states that Duke Banks is local representative of the Curtiss Airplane and Motor Corporation and desires Legation and Consulate to cooperate with him in promoting interest in American aircraft products and aeronautics in Bolivia. Please comply and inform Consulate.


820.7961 Dept. of Commerce Flight/14 : Telegram The Ambassador in Argentina (Bliss) to the Secretary of State BUENOS AIRES, January 25, 1928–11 a. m.

[Received 11:35 a. m.] 7. Your telegram number 1, January 7, 8 p. m. Permission accorded.



See telegram No. 2 to the Ambassador in Brazil, supra.
See footnote 86, p. 811.

820.7961 Dept. of Commerce Flight/16: Telegram The Minister in Uruguay (Grant-Smith) to the Secretary of State

MONTEVIDEO, February 2, 1928noon.

[Received February 2–11:10 a. m.] 7. Your telegram No. 1 of January 7, 8 p. m." The Uruguayan Government has granted permission flight to visit Uruguay and to pass over its territories.

It is suggested that the use of the word "pathfinding" might give rise to misunderstanding.


820.7961 Dept. of Commerce Flight/18: Telegram

The Ambassador in Chile (Collier) to the Secretary of State

SANTIAGO, February 8, 1928—2 p. m.

[Received 3:45 p. m.] 28. Department's telegram 3, January 7, 8 p. m.• Permission granted.


820.7961 Dept. of Commerce Flight/20 : Telegram

The Ambassador in Chile (Collier) to the Secretary of State


SANTIAGO, April 11, 1928—2 p. m.

[Received 8:30 p. m.] 50. Lieutenants Doolittle and Wade," and other American airplane representatives here are of the opinion that their difficulties in obtaining orders are due to a belief of the Government of Chile that in case Chile becomes involved in war the United States will prevent subsequent deliveries either because of sympathy for Bolivia and Peru or because of its determination to permit no war in South America, especially if related to the Tacna-Arica dispute,os or because the

See footnote 86, p. 811. * Lt. Leigh Wade, representative of the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation of Buffalo, N. Y., who, with J. W. Mussen of the same company, sailed in January 1928, to Peru to demonstrate their company's products in that and other South American countries.

In instructions to the American missions in Chile, Feb. 29, 1928, and in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, Mar. 1, 1928, the American representatives were directed to accord appropriate assistance and to request free entry and clearance for the Consolidated airplane. In telegram No. 15, Feb. 29, 1928, the American representative in Peru was instructed to obtain a refund of the customs charges paid when the Consolidated airplane entered Peru. (File No. 811.79620 Consolidated Aircraft Corp.)

See pp. 660 ff.

United States may rule that airplanes are in the same category as armed ships and may not be outfitted in the territory of neutrals. ... Has the Department any suggestions to meet the situation! Chilean agents of certain American arms manufacturers also feel that the first two reasons cause the Government of Chile to hesitate giving contracts to them.


820.7961 Dept. of Commerce Flight/22: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Chile (Collier)


WASHINGTON, April 16, 1928—4 p. m. 28. Your telegram No. 50, April 11, 2 p. m. The Department prefers that you avoid any discussion of this subject because it does not desire to indicate even indirectly what this Government's policy might be in case of eventualities to which you allude. This should not prevent you, however, from rendering assistance to the representatives of American companies to obtain a fair consideration of their propositions.


829.7961 Dept. of Commerce Flight/23

The Ambassador in Chile (Collier) to the Secretary of State No. 1367

SANTIAGO, May 1, 1928.

[Received May 23.) Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department's cablegram No. 28 of April 16, 4 p. m., answering my cablegram No. 50 of April 11, 2 p. m., in which I referred to certain impressions which the local representatives of the Curtiss Airplane Company and certain local agents of American munition firms had as to causes operating against their securing contracts with the Government of Chile, and as to the source of certain insinuations which they felt underlay these causes. The Department's reply is so phrased that I fear that it was of the opinion that I had discussed the matter with the Chilean authorities. This had never been done by me and the only participation that I had in the conversations with these American representatives and agents as [was?] to listen to what they had to say. I did not even tell them that I was about to report to the Department what they had told me in order to give it an opportunity to give me any necessary instructions.

I have made most vigorous efforts with both the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the President of the Republic to get them to give these American firms a part of the contracts for airplanes which are about to be let. Always these officials have admitted the superiority of the Curtiss planes, but have alleged that price stood in the way of letting the contract to them. The Curtiss Company denies that there is an appreciable difference in the price; at least, that the difference bears any proper relation to the great superiority which they have demonstrated that their planes possess.

In a recent conversation with President Ibáñez, he surprised me by telling me that he did not favor the purchase of military planes, but wished to get very many cheap planes which could be put into commercial services that could be inaugurated and that could afford an opportunity for the Chilean military aviators to practice. The President was most explicit in this statement, but what he said is so different from repeated declarations and undoubted intentions of the military authorities, that the only reconciliation of the two statements is that the President would prefer the purchase of cheap civilian planes and the training of military aviators in them, but that his military advisers wish military planes. It is probable that the President will defer to the judgment of the latter and even if some cheap commercial planes are bought, a large number of military planes will undoubtedly be acquired. I am told by the Curtiss people that they have fairly reliable information that the Army desires to purchase not merely 18 military planes as has been announced, but 36.

While in my talks, with these officials, I have not in any way mentioned the probable attitude of the United States with regard to the permission or the prohibition to fulfill contracts for airplanes and munitions in case war should break out, the President in his recent talk with me did say that a certain element in the Army entertained this view, and he even intimated that the idea had been inspired by competitors.

With specific reference to munitions, the President said that the Colt Arms Company, through their agent, was trying to make sales to Chile and that he (the President) personally always had favored purchasing from American manufacturers but the majority of the Army officers charged with the study and purchase of this equipment, favored making the purchases in Europe. I have [etc.]


820.7961 Dept. of Commerce Flight/25

The Chargé in Uruguay (Gade) to the Secretary of State

No. 642

MONTEVIDEO, June 8, 1928.

[Received July 6.] SIR: Reference is made to the Department's instructions Nos. 1 of January 7, 8 p. m., 1928 (telegraphic) 04 and 125 of March 1,

See footnote 86, p. 811.

1928,95 regarding the expeditions of the aviators Lieutenant J. H. Doolittle and Lieutenant Leigh Wade, respectively.

In this connection I have the honor to report that Lieutenants Doolittle and Wade arrived in Montevideo by airplane on the morning of June 6th and were met at the Military Aviation School by the Commercial Attaché and myself. In the afternoon Lieut. Doolittle demonstrated a Curtiss Hawk Pursuit Plane, and Lieut. Wade a Consolidated Aircraft Company Training Airplane before the Minister of War and Marine, the Chief of the Military Aviation Corps, and various naval and military aviators. The demonstration was highly successful and the military authorities expressed their admiration for the qualities of the machines and the skill displayed by the pilots.

Lieutenant Doolittle expects to return in the near future with his airplane equipped with pontoons, and Lieut. Wade plans to pass through Montevideo en route to Rio de Janeiro. I have [etc.]


820.7961 Dept. of Commerce Flight/24

The Ambassador in Cuba (Judah) to the Secretary of State No. 325

HABANA, June 26, 1928.

[Received July 5.] Sir: I have the honor to quote below the text of a telegram dated June 25, five p. m., 1928 today received from the American Ambassador at Buenos Aires :

"Lieutenant James Doolittle, who has been visiting various South American countries for the purpose of demonstrating Curtiss aeroplanes and regarding whom you may have received instructions from the Department, asks me to inform you that he proposes to leave here about July 22 in a Curtiss Hawk aeroplane on a flight from Buenos Aires to New York. As he plans to stop at Cienfuegos for fuel enroute from Colon to New York he requests you to obtain permission from the Cuban Government to land and fly in Cuba and also customs courtesies.”

The Embassy, not having received any previous information concerning the flight of Lieutenant Doolittle, I respectfully request instructions whether I should ask the Cuban Government to accord permission for the aviator to land in this Republic and to extend special customs courtesies to him. I have [etc.]


05 See footnote 92, p. 813.

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