The Supply of Arms to Latin America

The supply of arms posed some of the thorniest problems in American military relations with the Latin American nations during the whole World War II period. It will be recalled that the Army had suggested in May 1938 that relations might be substantially improved if the United States encouraged the private sales of munitions to these countries. The Department of State rejected the suggestion. Instead, it continued its more or less official disapproval of foreign munitions sales, illustrated by current instructions that required American military attaches in Latin America to avoid, whenever possible, the discussion of arms purchases from United States firms. 1 This remained American policy until after the outbreak of war in Europe in September 1939.

Until then, also, the factor of price was an even more important barrier to American sales of arms in Latin America than American policy. The Latin Americans could purchase most munitions more cheaply, and on easier terms, from European than from American producers. In consequence, except for military airplanes and airplane parts, American arms sales to most of the Latin American countries from 1935 onward were negligible. They averaged about $10,000,000 a year for the period 1936-39, measured in terms of the dollar value of export licenses issued, and about 85 percent of the total consisted of military aircraft and aircraft spare parts. Sales reached their peak in 1938, due principally to relatively large aircraft purchases by the Argentine Government. Thereafter they declined.2

Germany and Italy were the principal purveyors of munitions to Latin America on the eve of World War II. The Nazi technique of barter economy, by which Germany purchased raw materials with blocked marks that could only be expended on German goods, naturally helped the Germans to


capture the market, and the Department of State believed that both the German and the Italian Governments were granting either direct or indirect subsidies to munitions sales in Latin America.3 The sales of munitions by Germany and Italy, coupled with their large share in the training of Latin American armies and in the schooling of Latin American officers abroad, exerted an important influence in Latin American military circles, especially among high-ranking officers. This in turn had a more far-reaching significance for the interest of the United States in continental security, because in most Latin American nations the military had a large influence in the formulation and direction of national policy.

In November 1938 President Roosevelt indicated to Under Secretary of State Welles that to offset Nazi and Fascist influence of this sort he would like to have legislation adopted that would permit the War and Navy Departments to sell at cost some of their surplus military material to the Latin American republics. 4 This suggestion ran into complications. The Army had some military surplus that could have been supplied to Latin American countries, but until the outbreak of war in Europe legal barriers were generally believed to forbid such sales. After September 1939, when these barriers were removed by reinterpretation of old legislation and enactment of new, the United States was itself engaged in a rearmament program that absorbed some of the existing surplus and most of the remainder was to be made available after May 1940 to nations who were fighting the Axis overseas. During this second period, too, the nation's own rearmament program barred any serious thought of manufacturing new military equipment for the Latin Americans in government-owned arsenals.5

Law, Policy, and Procedure

The Army had considered the legal problem of public sales in making its initial proposal for a re-examination of arms policy in May 1938. While an act of 5 June 1920 authorized the Secretary of War to dispose of surplus war material to foreign governments, the War Department at the time considered itself bound by a subsequent Presidential letter of 23 April 1923 that pro-


hibited such sales. Although an interpretation in 1931 held that exceptions to this prohibition could be made with specific Presidential approval in each instance,6 in 1938 it was generally believed that the proposal to sell surplus military stocks to Latin America called not only for a change in policy but for new legislation as well. Prompted by President Roosevelt, Congress in January 1939 prepared the draft of a joint resolution designed to authorize limited sales of military equipment to Latin America. Known as the Pittman Resolution and first introduced in March 1939, it was not finally adopted until 15 June 1940. In its final form, the Pittman Resolution stated, "the President may, in his discretion, authorize the Secretary of War to manufacture in factories and arsenals under his jurisdiction, or otherwise procure, coast-defense and antiaircraft materiel, including ammunition therefor," and to sell these types of munitions to American republics, subject to a number of provisos, including a pledge by recipients not to dispose of such material subsequently to a non-American government.7 While this resolution when introduced was interpreted to cover the disposal of surplus material, its limitation to coast artillery and antiaircraft guns led the Army to seek a different solution.8

The Army realized it would have to find some new solution when Brazil asked for large quantities of American arms in the summer of 1939. 9 The outbreak of war in Europe prompted President Roosevelt to act. On 4 September 1939 he told Under Secretary Welles that "since under existing legislation we cannot give or sell any old arms to Brazil, it might be possible to get around that difficulty by having the War Department under existing law sell suitable old guns to some American citizen under an arrangement which would provide that he in turn dispose of them to the Brazilian Government"-a suggestion that foreshadowed the method used in the transfer of large surpluses to Great Britain in 1940. The Army's Judge Advocate General thereupon advised that his office had on several recent occasions held that the act of 5 June 1920 authorized the Secretary of War, with Presidential approval, to dispose of surplus military equipment, for which there was no domestic market, to foreign purchasers, including foreign governments. Therefore he held that there was no need to resort to the stratagem suggested by the President.10


Having cleared the hurdle of law with respect to surplus material, the Army still had to cope with the problem of policy. When Chile submitted a request for arms in the fall of 1939, General Marshall stated his own doubts about "the propriety of supplying them with small arms, in view of our declared policy not to sell [government-owned] small arms to foreign nations." 11 General Marshall also expressed his understanding that it was "not the policy of the State Department at the present time to consider selling rifles, automatic rifles and machine guns to Western Hemisphere Republics. Up to now, the policy has been confined to Coast Defense and Antiaircraft weapons — if it at all." 12 Mr. Welles agreed to lay the matter of selling small arms and other types of offensive weapons before the President in order to secure a policy decision.13

A change in policy seems to have been effected by accident rather than by design. In early December-1939, President Roosevelt received the President of Haiti at the White House, and during their conversations the American President promised to furnish Haiti with some rifles and machine guns out of Army stocks. Apparently the President made this commitment without consulting either the State or War Department. Though Haiti at the time did not get the arms requested-principally because it had no money to pay for them-the President's approval of the idea in this instance seems to have stilled any further objections on the ground of principle to the release of small arms and other weapons capable of offensive use. 14

The Chilean request for arms presented in the fall of 1939 illustrated the practical difficulties of putting the new policy into effect. Chile first approached G-2 with a request for information about the best means of obtaining a large quantity of war material, particularly antiaircraft guns, howitzers, and infantry mortars, from private American firms. The information was freely given, along with permission to use Army designs if orders were placed, but evidently the Chileans discovered that the problem of cost was insurmountable. The next step was a Chilean request to the Department of State for assistance in obtaining government-owned Army and Navy munitions. Chile wanted to


purchase two cruisers and two destroyers for its Navy and antiaircraft and other artillery pieces for its Army. The Chilean Army was described by the Department of State as being in "deplorable" circumstances, and Mr. Welles urged the Army and Navy to consider what might be done on Chile's behalf. For the Navy, Admiral Stark stated that while it might be possible to release some old destroyers to Chile, he was opposed to the idea. These vessels, he contended, could be most usefully employed in hemisphere defense by the United States Navy itself.15  In the meantime, General Marshall had directed the Chief of Ordnance to survey his stocks and decide what might be offered to Chile. The resulting list; submitted to the Department of State in mid-December for transmission to the Chileans, included one hundred thousand Enfield rifles, one hundred old 75-mm. guns, and some obsolete mortars and mountain guns, with ammunition for the last-named only. 16 Although cost was one reason for the Chilean's reluctance to consider the purchase of any items on this Army list of surplus, a more important factor was their intimation to the Department of State that what they really wanted was modem equipment, especially antiaircraft and field artillery guns.17 General Marshall had to explain that the Army was not prepared to part with any of its modern equipment or to promise any deliveries from future production for a long time to come.18 All that it could do was to add some 8-inch howitzers to the original list. The Chileans decided that none of the material offered was sufficiently attractive in type or price to justify purchase.19

Thus, the shift in United States policy that permitted the sale of surplus government arms to Latin American republics actually had little effect in practice before the summer of 1940. The only significant sales under the revised policy were made to Brazil.20 The Latin Americans wanted modern and not obsolete arms, and at a price they could afford. Because of its own rearmament program the United States Army held that it could not spare modern arms at any price.

The critical situation that confronted the United States in May and June 1940 called forth a new definition of American policy toward the supply of arms to Latin America. The Army liaison officers who were hurriedly dispatched to the Latin American states in June 1940 were authorized to ask


what aid from the United States these states needed for self-defense and for their contribution to hemisphere defense.21 The Latin Americans responded by emphasizing their dire need for all sorts of war material, which they insisted must be furnished to them at a cost they could afford to pay. The Minister of National Defense of one of the smaller but strategically located republics summed up the situation when he said: "We are naked and need help." 22

The United States clearly recognized the military impotence of most of the Latin American states and their need for additional armaments, but after June 1940 its own rapid military expansion to meet the Axis threat and the large-scale transfer of military equipment to Great Britain all but eliminated any "surplus" even of obsolete material. General Marshall and Admiral Stark presented this problem to President Roosevelt on 24 June as one of the many "Decisions as to National Action" that had to be made:

The facts are-At the present there are practically no excess facilities available in this country for the manufacture of heavy weapons and ships other than small or medium sized noncombatant craft. The Army has a few rifles and machine guns that possibly might be released, but there would be no ammunition available for these weapons earlier than March, 1941.

It is recommended that-Should it be found possible for Latin American countries to procure material in the United States, credits be provided for the purpose.23

The President approved this recommendation on 24 June, and in accordance with his decision the approved policy statement read: "It is decided that by providing small amounts of munitions at intervals, the urgent requirements of the Latin American countries requesting munitions may be met. Credits will be provided for the purchase of munitions." 24

Early in July Colonel Ridgway of the War Plans Division prepared a summary of the Latin American arms situation for General Marshall. Colonel. Ridgway noted that the act of 1920 permitted the sale of surplus items and that the Army could price them within reach of Latin American means. But the Army's surplus stocks still available in July 1940 consisted of items that the Latin Americans had indicated they did not want regardless of price. Colonel Ridgway pointed out that the Pittman Resolution, recently passed, permitted the sale of coast defense and antiaircraft guns but required that sales be made at no expense to the United States. Even if the United States


could afford to spare any new coast defense and antiaircraft guns, the Latin American states could not afford to pay for them. What they wanted, furthermore, was a full array of military and naval equipment. Brazil's request, submitted on 12 June 1940, was illustrative: it included a great variety of items that the United States was not legally authorized to sell; the total cost off the items was roughly calculated at $180,000,000; Brazil wanted 50 percent deliveries as soon as possible, the balance within five years, and an extension of credit that would permit payment over a ten-year period. In order to decide how, and how far, the Brazilian request should and could be met, as well as how to deal with the many other Latin American requests that had already been submitted formally or informally, Colonel Ridgway presented to the Chief of Staff a statement of policy and recommended that it be discussed by the Standing Liaison Committee and the results submitted to the President for his decision.25

In slightly modified form, President Roosevelt approved the statement on 1 August 1940. It provided:

a. For arming the countries named to the extent indicated, as determined in each case by our estimate of their requirements:

(1) (a) Brazil-To insure her ability to defend herself against a major {Axis} attack from neighboring states, or from overseas, and against internal disorder, until U. S. armed aid can arrive in sufficient force to insure success.

(b) Mexico-To insure her ability to defend herself against any probable attack from overseas, and against internal disorder, until U.S. armed aid can arrive in sufficient force to insure success.

(2) Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela-To insure their ability to meet and repel any probable minor attack from overseas and to insure their internal stability.

(3) Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic-To insure internal stability.

(4) Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, and Peru-To be determined after requirements for the other republics have been computed and plans to supply them have been approved.

b. For providing these arms on financial terms these Republics can meet.

c. For assistance in the matter of military, naval, and industrial personnel.

d. For adjusting the economic relations between the United States and Latin American states to insure the latter's political cooperation. Financial arrangements to accomplish this adjustment should be made on the basis of accepting the loss as a proper charge against our National defense.

Admiral Stark, in indicating his agreement with this statement of policy, had remarked: "This is just common sense." 27


Common sense it may have been, but problems of ways and means prevented any effective fulfillment of the new policy before Pearl Harbor. The mounting pressure of America's own program of military expansion and rearmament and successive and huge calls for aid from nations actively fighting the Axis Powers were to make it virtually impossible to send even token shipments of modern arms to the Latin American nations. Furthermore, Mr. Stimson, the new Secretary of War, had assumed office with the conviction that "Hitler's so-called fifth-column movements in South America" were merely "attempts to frighten us from sending help where it will be most effective."28 During the prewar period he more or less consistently opposed sending modern military equipment to the Latin American nations, on the ground that American security required that first call on it should be given to meet the more urgent demands of the home front and fighting fronts abroad.29 While the problem of arms supply was to loom very large in military relationships with Latin America between the summer of 1940 and December 1941, its record is a story of good intentions, extensive planning, and refinement of policy by Army staff officers, but of almost no performance on the part of the United States; on the part of the Latin Americans it is a story of exaggerated and frustrated hopes and of understandable irritation.

Aside from the scarcity of weapons, there was another fundamental reason for misunderstanding in Latin American arms negotiations during the prewar period. Customarily, there was a very wide divergence between the estimates submitted by the Latin American nations of what they considered their essential needs to be and the Army's estimates of what the United States ought to supply to them when it could. The approved war plans of the Army and Navy envisaged that the principal defense against any Axis assault in strength on any point in the hemisphere would have to be provided by United States forces. The most that the United States Army could plan to do, considering its own and other more pressing needs, was to furnish Latin American nations with enough arms to maintain their internal security and fend off external attacks until United States forces could arrive. This limited defensive role was far from palatable to the Latin Americans. Naturally enough, the larger nations wanted to take a more active hand in any large-scale hemisphere de-


fense operations that might develop. For this purpose, they wanted modern, balanced forces, equipped for offensive as well as purely defensive operations. In consequence, there was usually a very great difference between the types of material they requested and the types the United States planned to make available to them.

In the fall of 1940 the Army anticipated that the Export-Import Bank would provide the credits to enable Latin American nations to purchase arms from the United States. The credits would come from the $500,000,000 that Congress on 26 September authorized the bank to lend to Latin American republics. Actually, before the "processing" had been completed on any of their applications, the Latin American states were included within the lend-lease framework, and almost all of their "credits" were therefore provided out of lend-lease appropriations.30

The procedure for processing Latin American arms requisitions through the State, War, and Navy Departments and their interdepartmental committees proved to be a much more complicated matter than the arrangement of credits. It also underwent rather frequent change and refinement. The basic features of the system were settled for the Army in a joint memorandum approved by the Secretaries of War and State in March 1940. Requests were to be received only from officially accredited Latin American government representatives, not from private brokers. They were to submit their requests first to the Department of State, which would transmit them to the War Department only after the Department of State had determined that the request conformed to current foreign policy. With Department of State consent, foreign representatives might confer informally with War Department representatives in the early stages of a negotiation, but the War Department could not commit the United States to filling a request without full Department of State cognizance and approval. After Department of State approval, the War Department would handle the actual negotiation, with the final agreement again subject to Department of State review.31

General Marshall in November 1940 proposed the establishment of a joint Army-Navy board to supervise the processing of Latin American arms requests. At first the Navy objected to the creation of such a board. Navy planning officers felt that there were already too many special emergency boards and committees; they also felt that a board such as the Army had proposed would get nowhere unless it were tied into the priorities system of the Advisory Commission to the Council of National Defense and the work of the


Priorities Committee of the Army and Navy Munitions Board. Conferences ironed out the objections raised by the Navy, and a charter for the new organization, known as the joint Advisory Board on American Republics, was formally approved in mid-December. It was to consist of three Army members (representing the War Plans and Supply Divisions of the General Staff, and the Army and Navy Munitions Board) and two Navy members (representing the Navy's War Plans Division and Fleet Maintenance Division). The board's duties were to handle all Latin American munitions requests transmitted by the Department of State and to draft a detailed program for future arms aid to Latin America.32

The establishment of the joint Advisory Board was accompanied by a new refinement in policy, based on the premise that "Hemisphere solidarity demands that the United States take all reasonable measures to meet the needs of our sister republics." But the War Plans Division also observed that the Army's own current procurement program called for the provision of critical items for a force of 1,400,000 men at the earliest practicable date. The United States was furthermore, as of mid-November 1940, splitting its munitions production with the British on practically a 50-50 basis. Under the circumstances, there seemed scant likelihood of any "free capacity" to meet Latin American needs for many months to come. Nevertheless, the Army believed that it should prepare to do whatever it could by adopting a precise definition of policy and by obtaining new legislation from Congress to authorize sales of types of munitions to Latin America not covered by the Pittman Resolution.33 The policy proposed was approved by Secretary of War Stimson on 2 December 1940. On releases, it provided for a rather involved formula:

a. As soon as the quantities of any item of equipment or munitions required for the 1,418,097 troop basis are on hand, not to exceed 5% of the productive capacity of the United States in critical items and 50% in essential items may be allocated to other American Republics.

b. As soon as the quantities of any critical item of equipment or munitions required for two million men are at hand, not to exceed 50% of the productive capacity of the United States, after British commitments have been met, may be allocated to other Amer-


ican Republics, subject to deferment in deliveries, if necessary to meet US requirements at that time.34

In effect, the formula meant that there would be no deliveries of standard critical or essential items at least until January 1942. The approved policy statement also contained the following terms, which remained basically applicable to all orders thereafter:

c. Substitute items of equipment may be released for sale to other American Republics whenever standard items are available for their replacement.

d. Standard, or substitute standard, equipment only will be authorized for manufacture in the United States, except in the case of prior commitments.

e. No equipment will be sold to other American Republics unless complete units (including ammunition, if needed) are available.

f. The War Department will oppose the loan of US funds to other American Republics for the creation of munitions productive capacity outside the United States.35

Early in January the War Plans Division submitted to General Marshall a draft of proposed legislation to legalize the release of all types of new war material to other American republics. But the more far-reaching lend-lease bill was already in preparation, and in February it was decided to include Latin America in the lend-lease program. The Lend-Lease Act, approved on 11 March 1941, permitted the release of any type of weapon, and its passage ended the legal limitations on arms supply to the Latin American nations.36

The Latin American Arms Program of 1941

The Joint Advisory Board at its first meeting on 8 January 1941 decided that its Army and Navy members should first prepare separate service programs and then combine these programs in the final stage of planning. 37  As the Army members set about their work Colonel Ridgway, in an informal latter, described the situation they faced. In the request of one Latin American country, he noted

. . . the list of things . . . in its first priority includes the most modern field and AA artillery and aviation. These are just the things in which our tremendously expanded forces are most deficient ....

Added to this is the tremendously urgent demand from the British which the President insists we meet. It is practically certain that some items, if promptly ordered, can be procured in the next few months. Primary training planes, commercial automotive equipment


of various kinds, and miscellaneous items of army equipment, other than arms and ammunition, are included in this class.
. . . the transformation of our industry from the production of peace-time products to munitions of war on the scale now required is a task of tremendous magnitude and difficulty. I doubt if our neighbors to the South have any appreciation of the scope of our effort. But regardless of that, what they should nave is an appreciation of our sincerity in attempting to meet their demands. Of that sincerity there can be no doubt. I have seen it here on every hand.

The War and Navy Departments are now working on a program for each of the American Republics which have requested munitions. That program, when completed, will show the estimated dates by which each item will begin to become available, the period over which procurement will extend, the unit cost and total estimated value. These programs require much time to work up. The data on which they are based must come from every branch of industry in our country. Any attempt at hasty predictions as to the estimated delivery schedules is not only valueless but actually dangerous in the possible political reactions such predictions might produce.38

Pending the completion of a consolidated program for all of the Latin American nations, the Army planners made no attempt to consider requests already submitted by particular states, since the total amount that could be made available was dependent on the combined requests of all. In the interim, they sought to obtain lists from each country of what it wanted. The official or informal requests received before the joint Advisory Board's report was completed totaled about a billion dollars for Army material and another quarter billion for Navy material. The board concluded that these requests would have to be scaled down by excluding all but the most urgent requirements for hemisphere defense.39

In drafting the Latin American arms program, the members of the joint Advisory Board had to take into consideration a variety of factors. The basic consideration was the contribution that each nation could be expected to make toward hemisphere defense, particularly toward the security of the Panama Canal. The existing military strength of each nation had also to be weighed, and every individual allotment had to be calculated in the light of the existing rivalries between each state and its neighbors. Nor could the United States expect that the supply of arms would serve to purchase the good will of the Latin Americans. It was far more likely that the allocations to any particular state would arouse the envy and distrust of its neighbors. Therefore, the planners believed that any credits extended to finance arms


supply, whether under lend-lease or otherwise, should be considered as loans to be repaid-if not in cash, then in definite assurances of close collaboration with United States forces, and in guarantees that the United States could use Latin American airfields, naval bases, and other facilities if and when necessary. At the beginning of March 1941, when the joint Advisory Board completed 'its report, there appeared to be no immediate danger of external aggression to Latin America "as long as the British-American combination controls the South Atlantic." On the other hand, the board did consider the possibility of Nazi-inspired internal uprisings a serious and constant menace, "if for no other reason than to obstruct our material aid to the British" by diverting American forces to the southward.40

In its report of 3 March 1941 the joint Advisory Beard recommended a gross allocation of $400,000,000 for Army and Navy material, to be supplied to the Latin American nations within a three-year period or longer, three fourths of which was to be spent on Army material. Initially, individual allotments were recommended for each of the Latin American states except Mexico, Argentina, and Panama. Subsequently, allotments were also calculated for Mexico and Argentina, and the Army total of specific allotments came to $286,000,000, which left an additional $14,000,000 as a general reserve. The board also decided that only $70,000,000 worth of Army supplies could be made available during the 1941 and 1942 fiscal years, leaving $230,000,000 to be furnished during fiscal 1943 "and later years." In effect, this very important qualification meant that only a modicum of military supplies could be released to the Latin American republics before the summer of 1942 under the best of circumstances. In presenting its report, the joint Advisory Board included the following recommendations:

5. a. That plans for hemisphere defense be considered principally the responsibility of the United States, and that as far as possible, all plans and agreements made with the American republics be an extension of our own plans.

b. That all armaments furnished to the American republics be in accordance with our own plans and estimates of their needs for hemisphere defense, and that these armaments be procured through the established agencies of the Army and Navy, in order to obtain the following advantages:

(1) To avoid interference with the procurement plans of the British, Chinese, Greek, or other foreign programs.
(2) To insure that American republics will be equipped with our own standard material.
(3) To permit control over the deliveries without interfering with our own Army and Navy programs.


The board also recommended a procedure to be followed in processing future arms requests and maintenance of the system of priorities among nations approved in the summer of 1940 and reaffirmed in January 1941.41

The adoption of the new program for Latin American arms supply raised the question of how the recipients should be informed of what was in store for them-a particularly important matter because it was essential to good hemisphere relations that the Latin Americans should not entertain any false hopes of substantial deliveries in the immediate future. The War Department favored the issuance of a frank public statement by the Department of State that would curb such expectations:

The United States is making a great national effort to equip its tremendously expanding armed forces. In addition, it must supply large quantities of munitions to the British.

As long as British resistance continues, there will be no major menace to this hemisphere. If British resistance collapses, we will all be in danger.

The national safety of all countries of this hemisphere demands that the British be supplied as fully and as rapidly as possible. The United States is doing this even to the extent of delaying the equipping of its own troops, but it is doing so in the common defense of all the Americas.

Subject to agreement upon details, the American republics can be assured that they may begin procuring their armaments in the United States as soon as our production will meet these vital prior requirements. Their armies could thus commence to receive arms only a short time after the armies of the United States have received theirs.

In forwarding this draft, the Secretary of War observed that the Latin Americas "not unnaturally . . . conceive of us as a huge arsenal well-stocked with all kinds of weapons, and when we tell them of our real condition they don't believe us. Being non-industrial nations, they have no conception of the time necessary for the manufacture of munitions. The consequent result is that they doubt our sincerity." The Department of State decided not to issue the statement. The Army believed that if it had been issued a good deal of mis-


understanding in Latin American military relations might have been avoided during the succeeding months.42

In order to include the Latin American nations under the terms of the Lend-Lease Act, as previously planned, the President had to certify that their defense was vital to the defense of the United States. The Department of State prepared a joint State, War, and Navy Department letter to the President requesting that he take this step, and he gave his official approval on 23 April 1941.43 The War Department had already agreed that the Department of State should be charged with the responsibility of formally notifying the Latin Americans that they had been included within the lend-lease framework and of the allocations made to each of them under the new arms program. In late April Under Secretary of State Welles received the diplomatic representatives of the Latin American states and went through the ceremony of making these announcements. At the same time he described the procedure they were to follow in submitting their requests for arms under the new program.44

Two other essentials to carrying out the Latin American arms program caused a good deal of difficulty during 1941. First, each of the Latin American nations had to submit an official list of its requirements, and the War and State Departments discovered that it took a good deal of time and effort to round up all of the lists. Second, each nation had to designate an official


representative or purchasing body to carry through negotiations after its list was presented, and a number of the states were slow in doing so.45

It required two months' time and numerous conferences between the many agencies involved before a revised procedure for handling Latin American arms requests under lend-lease was finally worked out by the Division of Defense Aid Reports, Office for Emergency Management. The procedure, as finally evolved, called for the following steps: (1) through its diplomatic representative, a Latin American nation informed the Liaison Office of the Department of State that it desired lend-lease aid and that it had an officially accredited military representative to conduct detailed negotiations; (2) the Liaison Office transmitted this information to the Division of Defense Aid Reports, which in turn informed the proper officers of the War and Navy Departments; (3) the diplomatic representative visited the Division of Defense Aid Reports, which explained to him all of the details of the lend-lease procedure; (4) the military representative then arranged with the Division of Defense Aid Reports to visit the War and Navy Departments, taking with him a precise list of the material his country wanted; (5) War and Navy officers helped him to rearrange his list on a priority basis and in accordance with the allocation of lend-lease funds to be made available, and to prepare separate requisitions for each item on the revised list; (6) the military representative presented approved requisitions to the Office of Defense Aid Reports for transmission to the proper procuring agency; (7) after formal approval and allocation of funds to cover requisitions, the requests became commitments of the United States, subject to the priority of its own national defense orders; (8) when the material called for on a requisition was ready, a transfer order was issued authorizing its delivery-until then, the material remained United States property. While these steps were being taken, the diplomatic representative of the Latin American nation was to negotiate a basic lend-lease agreement with the Department of State. During its negotiation, the Department of State was to consult with the Division of Defense Aid Reports but not with the planning agencies of the War and Navy Departments. No material could be transferred until this basic agreement was concluded.46


The War Department was dissatisfied with one aspect of the lend-lease procedure-the Department of State's negotiation of basic lend-lease agreements without consultation with the military services. Although the Army admitted that it had but slight interest in the financial provisions of these agreements, it believed that the War and Navy Departments had a fundamental interest in them because of their bargaining value and held, therefore, that none should be signed until approved by the War and Navy Departments.47 Although the various War Department agencies concerned were agreed on this point, there seems to have been a general reluctance to press the matter with the Department of State. Assistant Secretary of War McCloy finally presented the War Department's views to the Department of State by letter, suggesting that "certain military and naval advantages of a limited character might be introduced into the negotiations," and that the War and Navy Departments should at least be informed about the course of lend-lease negotiations so that the services might present bargaining points for consideration. Mr. Welles replied that the proper body to discuss this topic was the Standing Liaison Committee. Since the Department of State's strong objection to any intrusion by the Army or Navy into the negotiation of basic lend-lease agreements was well known, the Army's spokesmen hesitated to ask General Marshall to press the question. In consequence, nothing more was done toward securing a voice in the negotiation of lend-lease agreements until the eve of Pearl Harbor.48

G-2 suggested in September 1941 that it would be a good idea to have military attaches and members of military missions in Latin America play a more active role in lend-lease arms negotiations. They naturally were expected to provide technical advice in the initial drafting of Latin American arms requests before their transmission to Washington, but G-2 also proposed that the attaches and mission members should themselves come to Washington to lend assistance during the processing of arms requests. The War Plans Division rejected this suggestion. While acknowledging that the attaches could offer valuable technical advice, the Plans Division pointed out that they lacked the broader knowledge of strategic considerations and over-all requirements that were the main factors in determining action on Latin American requests. Furthermore, since little material aid was going to be available for the Latin Americans for some time to come, the failure in any particular negotiation to secure the promise of "fairly speedy delivery of


a large part of the munitions requested might cause {the attaches} a considerable loss of prestige." 49

The second lend-lease appropriation act, approved on 28 October 1941, authorized the expenditure of $150,000,000 for Latin American munitions, two thirds of which was to be spent on Army material.50 This act also required that the $100,000,000 for Army material be obligated by approved action on specific requisitions before 28 February 1942. In presenting the Latin American program during hearings on the act, Army spokesmen had stated that the appropriation would be spent approximately as follows:

Ordnance and ordnance stores    $45,000,000
Aircraft and aeronautical material    29,775,000
Tanks and other vehicles    15,000,000
Miscellaneous military equipment    10,225,000

Likewise, the Congressional subcommittee had been told the approximate sums that would be spent for each country; for example, for Brazil $25,000; 000, for Argentina $15,000,000, and Mexico $10,000,000.51 In order to carry out the authorized expenditure for Latin American arms within the time limit set, the Army believed it essential to secure revised requisitions from all the Latin American states that would conform to the limitations by category and breakdown by countries that had been presented informally to Congress. It therefore asked the Department of State to pass this information on to the Latin Americans so that they could submit revised lists. In making this request, the Army also "earnestly recommended" that "the State Department make it clear that the utilization of the funds in question for the categories listed is entirely contingent upon our resources, available production, and other commitments, and that the allocation of funds is not an indication that munitions in the amounts specified will be available for early release." 52  Although the Department of State was more than willing to tell the Latin Americans just what was planned for them, the Navy objected, especially to informing them of the breakdown of funds by categories. The net result of this disagreement was the delay of any Department of State announcement to the Latin Americans until the eve of Pearl Harbor.53  The formal entry of the United States into the war then made it necessary to recast both the program and the policy for Latin American arms supply.


Airplanes for Latin America

The Latin American nations, especially the larger ones, were particularly interested in acquiring military aircraft from the United States. In general, Latin American military aviation in 1941 was in a rudimentary stage of development. Several countries had fewer qualified pilots than serviceable planes. Because some countries had been able to afford foreign airplane purchases during the preceding decade and others had not, the existing air strengths among the South American countries were more badly out of balance than their relative strengths in ground forces. Above all, the Latin American countries lacked pilots who were qualified to fly the modern combat aircraft, or even the basic and advanced training planes, that they wished to secure in large numbers. 54

Because American aircraft production was being shared so extensively with the British, the question of aircraft supply to Latin America was placed within the jurisdiction of the joint Aircraft Committee (composed of representatives of the Army, the Navy, and the British Purchasing Commission), rather than solely under that of the joint Advisory Board on American Republics. Although the board formulated a Latin American aircraft program to supplement the over-all supply program drafted in March 1941, the aircraft program required the approval of the joint Aircraft Committee and was not accepted in its final form until March 1942.55

Latin American requests for the purchase of military aircraft had begun to multiply by the fall of 1940. Argentina was attempting the direct purchase from private manufacturers of 300 to 400 Army-type planes, and by December the War Department had received requests from other American nations for a total of about 1,000 military aircraft-approximately 700 tactical planes and 300 trainers. 56  Because British needs and the rapidly expanding Army Air Corps were absorbing the entire output of Army-type planes, it was not possible to meet Latin American requests except by diverting airplanes already allocated to the United States Army or to the British. While the Department of State and certain War Department officials would have liked to divert a few planes from current production in order to make token deliveries


to Latin America, neither the Air Corps nor the British showed any desire to share their allocations before the fall of 1941.

Colonel Ridgway drafted the initial joint Advisory Board study on Latin American aircraft supply in April 1941. By then, requests for about 2,000 planes had been received. His study proposed that about $87,500,000 of the total of $300,000,000 tentatively recommended for Army material supply in the March 1941 program be spent over a five-year period for the purchase of 1,471 planes (1,080 trainer and 391 tactical) for the Latin American countries. Allocations were suggested for each country on the bases of its existing air strength, the role that the United States expected it to play in hemisphere defense, and its ability to support and employ an air force effectively. 57

Two months later Colonel Ridgway's study provided a basis for formal action by the joint Aircraft Committee, begun after a conference of its members with State, War, and Navy Department and Office of Production Management representatives on 17 June. While accepting his estimates as a point of departure, the joint Aircraft Committee decided that no specific allocations should be made to any one country until all of the Latin American nations had submitted their requests. The Department of State was asked to obtain a list of requirements from each Latin American country by 15 August, but it was unable to do so, and two months later the lists from several nations were still not available. In effect, the delay of some nations in submitting their requests held up the negotiation of all Latin American airplane contracts. The Department of State and Joint Advisory Board therefore asked the joint Aircraft Committee to go ahead and authorize preliminary action on actual requests received, as well as on the revised over-all Latin American aircraft program upon which the joint Advisory Board had been working. This "Aircraft Program for American Republics" was submitted to the joint Aircraft Committee on 30 October 1941. Soon thereafter, it approved a list of types of planes to be supplied Latin American nations and scheduled delivery dates when each type was expected to become available for shipment to them. Initial shipments of the various trainer types were scheduled between February and August 1942, and tactical types were to be available from August 1942 onward. Earlier token deliveries were to be made if possible. 58


The Joint Aircraft Committee did not give its final approval to the Latin American airplane program until 7 March 1942. The subcommittee that drafted the report upon which this action was based attributed the long delay in completing the program to the failure of individual Latin American nations to take the necessary steps to qualify for airplane deliveries under lend-lease or, when so qualified, to their failure to submit the proper requisitions or to conform with the prescribed lend-lease procedure. The net effect of those delays had been to postpone even the production scheduling of most Latin American airplane orders. The report therefore laid down a new policy: no further attempt should be made to obtain a precise estimate of airplane requirements from each Latin American nation, nor should there be a separate production schedule to meet Latin American requirements. Instead, military aircraft for Latin America would in the future be "provided from current production under Air Corps, Navy, or Defense aid contracts, subject to the scheduling of delivery by the Munitions Assignment Board." To cover past and future requests, the joint Aircraft Committee adopted a program chat specified the total number of each type of plane that might be supplied and the maximum quantity of each type that might be delivered per month. No attempt was made to allocate the over-all totals among the countries. The approved totals provided for the ultimate delivery of a maximum of 550 training and 240 tactical planes, or a little more than half the totals proposed in April 1941.59

By March 1942, when this joint Aircraft Committee report was approved, six transport planes and about one hundred training planes had actually been delivered or were en route to Latin America. Because of special circumstances, Brazil received some tactical planes in March and April 1942 and more at the end of the year.60 After the slow beginning in deliveries, the Latin American countries actually received during and immediately after the war more than two thousand airplanes of Army types, a total substantially larger than that planned for them in 1941 and 1942. More than 60 percent of the planes went to Brazil and Mexico, both of which became active participants in the fighting overseas. Less than 20 percent of the total was of tactical types. Deliveries of tactical planes, originally planned for sixteen nations, were actually made only to Brazil, Mexico, Peru, and Chile. The allocation of nontactical types among thirteen other countries did not differ


very much from what had been planned for them in 1941.61 The value of Army deliveries of aircraft and air accessories to Latin America reached a total of nearly $128,000,000 by mid-1945, or half again as much as originally proposed in 1941.62

Special Problems During 1941

Between the adoption of the March 1941 plan for arms supply to Latin America and the advent of hostilities in December, the War Department had to deal with a number of special problems that involved both old and new questions of policy. The first of these related to the policy, approved by the Secretary of War on 2 December 1940, that "The War Department will oppose the loan of United States funds to other American Republics for the creation of munitions productive capacity outside the United States." In March 1941 the Navy Department tried to obtain some machine tools for shipment to Brazilian Navy yards, where it planned to repair its own naval vessels. War Department policy prohibited any export of machine tools to Latin America. Under Secretary of State Welles, previously uninformed of the War Department's position, announced his strong opposition to the policy when the matter came to his attention. The War Department, while expressing sympathy for this particular Brazilian request, nevertheless urged that no machine tools be exported to Latin America for any purpose whatsoever. The domestic shortage was too critical to permit such a diversion. The State and Navy Departments remained unconvinced, and the question was referred to the joint Advisory Board for reconsideration. The Board recommended that, in the interest of establishing a general policy acceptable to all three departments, the Latin Americans should be permitted to purchase machine tools and machinery for creating munitions productive capacity "when, but only when, in the discretion of the State, War, and Navy Departments, the export of these purchases will definitely best serve the national interests and where there is no more urgent need for the machinery for our own defense needs or those of other nations resisting aggression." This formula was approved, and it allowed the machine tools in question to go to the Brazilian Navy.63


The outbreak of hostilities between Peru and Ecuador in July 1941 led the War Department to state explicitly a policy implied in the Neutrality Act of 1939. Since armed intervention by the United States on behalf of either contestant was contrary to American foreign policy, it followed that it would be contrary to policy to furnish weapons of any description to either side for the duration of hostilities. The War Department adhered to this policy. While it did not prevent negotiations with the two countries for future delivery of arms for hemisphere defense purposes, the War Department made it clear that "present policy precludes the furnishing of combat weapons of any description to Ecuador or Peru pending settlement of their boundary dispute." 64

A significant development in policy on Latin American arms supply was inspired by an address of Acting Secretary of State Welles on 22 July 1941. Mr. Welles advocated the abolition of offensive armaments as one of the necessary steps toward restoring postwar law and order. A few days later, Colonel Ridgway suggested that it would be a good idea to apply this policy to the Latin American arms supply program immediately, and specifically to bar any shipment to the Latin American nations of heavy bombardment aircraft, chemical warfare toxic agents, medium and heavy tanks, and seacoast and field artillery above 6-inch caliber.65  This suggestion became the basis for a formal policy decision by the Chief of Staff in mid-October that added medium bombardment aircraft and aircraft bombs heavier than three hundred pounds to Colonel Ridgway's list of munitions to be withheld. While this was a somewhat academic decision at the time since munitions of these types were not then available for Latin American supply, it provided an important limitation on future deliveries. General Marshall stated, as one reason for the adoption of the policy, that "it would be extremely dangerous to the United States and to neighboring American republics" if these types of equipment "should come under control of subversive or Axis elements." 66 The Department of State took tile position that a limitation-on-arms policy of this sort was a matter for Army and Navy decision and therefore expressed no objection. The Navy not only concurred in the War Department's policy but also took parallel action by announcing its intention to withhold combat vessels of all types (except patrol vessels), motor torpedo boats, patrol bombers


(except from certain of the larger maritime powers), and such other offensive-type weapons as policy dictated in particular instances.67

One of the special problems of policy in which the Army had only a limited interest was that of arms supply to Argentina. From the summer of 1940 onward Argentina had exhibited great reluctance to cooperate with the United States in hemisphere defense measures.68 Nevertheless, the military services continued to hope for an improvement in Argentina's attitude throughout 1941. The Army's portion of the Latin American arms program provided a substantial allotment for Argentina, second only to that for Brazil and about one sixth of the total; and the Army planned to earmark for Argentina one fourth of the funds appropriated in October 1941 for Army lend-lease to Latin America. In the summer of 1941 the United States definitely promised to deliver as soon as possible a considerable quantity of raw materials and finished manufactures that Argentina needed for her military expansion.69 After war broke in December, an Argentine mission arrived in Washington to carry on staff conversations and negotiate for arms. These plans and approaches were nullified by the opposition of the Argentine Government to United States objectives both before and during the Rio conference of January 1942 and by its subsequent insistence on maintaining a strict neutrality, which hardened the State and War Departments against granting any lend-lease aid to Argentina. In February the Department of State announced that it would make a clear-cut statement of the American position along the following lines:

While the United States does not desire to influence Argentina in her international relations, we must adopt a realistic policy in determining priorities for delivery of lend lease equipment. Obviously the United States must favor those countries which have declared war or broken relations with the Axis. The same treatment cannot be given a nation still on friendly terms with our enemies.70

The War Department in the meantime had adopted the policy of according a courteous hearing to Argentine arms requests, but of avoiding any action that would lead to their fulfillment.71 Argentina was the only American nation that did not receive any arms from the United States Government during World War II.


Two days before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the War Department moved to reopen the question of participation by the Army in the Department of State's negotiation of basic lend-lease agreements, which the military planners still believed should provide bargaining opportunities to secure military advantages. A lend-lease administrative reorganization of October provided a legitimate means by which the War Department could insist on its objectives being considered during these negotiations. An Executive order of 29 October 1941 had directed that master lend-lease agreements should henceforth be negotiated by the Department of State in consultation with the Office of Lend-Lease Administration and the Economic Defense Board. As a member of the Economic Defense Board, of which Vice President Henry A. Wallace was chairman, the Secretary of War presented the Vice President with a list of specific military advantages (mostly concerned with flight privileges and aerial photography) that the War Department wanted introduced into pending lend-lease negotiations. The Vice President passed Mr. Stimson's letter on to Secretary of State Hull, but almost immediately the War Department asked that its request be withdrawn since the outbreak of war completely changed the situation and permitted the Army to obtain the military advantages it desired by direct negotiation. The Secretary of State's reply to the Vice President concluded by observing: "It is now the view of the War Department, in which I concur, that it is neither desirable nor feasible to relate the conclusion of the master lend-lease agreements with the attainment of the objectives desired by the War Department." 72 This was not a complete statement of the War Department's position. The War Department had withdrawn its request because it could get what it wanted more rapidly through direct negotiation, but it still believed that military advantages could legitimately be sought in political negotiations conducted by the Department of State or in any other project sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. When the War Department learned in January 1942 that the Department of Agriculture was planning to spend a half billion dollars for surplus Latin American commodities, the War Plans Division promptly drafted another letter for the Secretary of War's signature requesting Vice President Wallace to consider the promotion of specific military advantages in any negotiation that occurred in consequence of the Department of Agriculture's project. The Vice President's response was evasive. While acknowledging "our failure to supply the Republics of Latin America with the necessary munitions of war under


lend-lease is probably . . . an important reason for their reluctance to cooperate with us," he did not commit himself to the support of any specific War Department proposals.73

Arms Supply After Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor naturally upset the plans and schedules for Latin American arms supply. In an informal memorandum to Mr. Orme Wilson of the Department of State, in connection with a Cuban arms request, Colonel Ridgway frankly stated: "The great demands for military equipment resulting from Japan's attacks have made it practically impossible to find anything for immediate or even reasonably prompt delivery to Latin American republics." 74  When this statement was called to Under Secretary of State Welles's attention, he decided to put the question before President Roosevelt for decision. Although acknowledging the paramount needs of United States forces, he stated:

I nevertheless believe that a failure by the United States to agree to furnish limited quantities of military materiel to the American republics . . . would have an exceedingly unfortunate effect and would be seized upon by our enemies to create an atmosphere of doubt and fear which would hardly be conducive to the success of the meeting of Foreign Ministers at Rio de Janeiro in January or to the continuing cooperation of the other American republics with this Government in our war effort . . . . I feel strongly that the amounts of material necessary, even though reduced from the original schedules, to maintain the confidence of the American countries in the United States ability to deliver are very modest compared with our total war output.

Mr. Hopkins referred Mr. Welles's plea to General Burns, who consulted Deputy Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Richard C. Moore and Colonel Ridgway in preparing a response for the President's signature. In effect, the Army answered Mr. Welles's letter. The President's letter stated that many items of raw and semi-finished materials could be furnished the Latin Americans immediately without interfering with other essential requirements; inevitably there would be a delay in providing them with military material, "but this type of aid should, however, begin as soon as possible." Colonel Ridgway noted that the President's "decision" hardly solved the dilemma of Latin American arms supply, since almost all of the Army lend-lease material that they had requested consisted of finished munitions and not "raw materials and semifinished materials." 75


Despite the discouraging outlook for any early deliveries, the Army went ahead with the preparation of a new Latin American arms program consistent with the division of funds by categories and countries as proposed in October 1941. The objective was at least to obligate the expenditure of the $100,000,000 for Army material provided by the second lend-lease appropriation act, with actual procurement to occur as soon as feasible.76 The War Plans Division summarized the Army's objective in the following words: "file are acutely aware of the needs of the American republics, are highly sympathetic with their requests, and will supply these requests at the earliest possible moment that our resources will permit." 77

In fact, there was not a great deal that the United States could do about supplying the Latin American nations with modern military equipment during the first year of its active participation in the war. After Pearl Harbor the Latin American republics redoubled their pleas for such items as antiaircraft guns and combat aircraft to protect their coasts against attack, but in view of its own critical shortages the United States could not furnish them with any modern equipment of that sort. The Latin Americans did not want the coast defense guns the United States could offer. To ease South American fears Under Secretary of State Welles, as already noted, was authorized during the Rio de Janeiro Conference of Foreign Ministers to offer the coastal countries some advanced training planes equipped for reconnaissance and bombardment duty, and the United States also agreed to expedite deliveries on various items of ground equipment for the Brazilian and Chilean Armies.78  In February and March 1942 Brazil obtained some further pledges of early deliveries.79 Generally speaking, during the period of real danger in 1942 the other Latin American countries had to rely on the military means they already had and on the assistance of United States forces in an emergency.

Nevertheless, the United States continued to plan for future deliveries. Between August 1941 and March 1943 the Department of State negotiated basic lend-lease agreements with eighteen of the Latin American countries, granting credits totaling more than $425,000,000, all but $100,000,000 of which was to be spent on Army-type munitions. The agreements also contained clauses stating in effect that the United States proposed to begin deliveries immediately and to continue them as expeditiously as practicable during the ensuing twelve months. In most instances it proved to be impos-


sible to make any substantial deliveries within twelve months for reasons generally well understood by Latin American representatives in Washington though not by their governments back home. In any event the Latin American countries assumed that the United States had committed itself to delivering military material to the amount of the credit granted as soon as it could, whatever the war outlook when deliveries became possible. The agreements provided for a partial repayment of the cost of materials actually delivered.80

The United States did not attempt during the war to make any arrangements for receiving reciprocal aid from the Latin American nations. Their governments did not have the means to finance such aid, and many of the localities in which the armed forces of the United States operated did not have the resources for local supply anyway.81 These reasons, plus the consideration "that the American Republics had given . . . the United States so many strategic military and naval advantages of incalculable value," convinced Department of State and lend-lease representatives "that it would be impolite, unwise, and improper to expect or ask for an additional contribution" from the Latin American countries in the form of reverse lendlease.82

In making deliveries of munitions to the Latin American countries after January 1942, the United States adhered to the policy adopted in late 1941 of not supplying them with heavy, offensive-type weapons and chemical warfare toxic agents. Again Brazil was an exception, because of its character as a fighting ally and the preparations under way for sending a Brazilian expeditionary force overseas. No other Latin American nation received any chemical agents of the proscribed variety, any medium or heavy bombardment airplanes, any bombs above 100 pounds' weight, any medium or heavy tanks, or any heavy artillery except the 155-mm. guns turned over by the 56th Coast Artillery Regiment to Peru, Venezuela, and Chile in 1942 and 1943.83

From the beginning it had been United States policy to grant lend-lease aid to the Latin American nations only in the form of military equipment and services, and these only for purposes of hemisphere defense. The sole departures


from this policy were made in the case of the two that waged war on the Axis overseas-Brazil and Mexico. Early in 1943 President Roosevelt authorized the Army to help train and equip Brazilian ground and air units for overseas service; subsequently, the President approved similar aid for a Mexican aviation squadron. The extensive and wholehearted co-operation of Brazil and Mexico with United States military and naval operations in the Western Hemisphere likewise qualified them for special consideration in lend-lease aid.84  Allocations to Brazil and Mexico accounted for more than 70 percent of the $125,000,000 worth of military equipment that the United States Army assigned to Latin American nations before June 1943. Compared with 1941 plans, this total represented for Latin America as a whole about two thirds of the projected supply of military aircraft and air accessories, but less than one third of the planned supply of ground arms. The Latin American nations other than Brazil and Mexico had been assigned only about one fourth of the arms that the 1941 program and the basic lend-lease agreements had specified they might receive.85

Although war production in the United States finally reached a level in the spring of 1943 that permitted regular deliveries of arms to Latin America, by that time the fundamental change in the strategic outlook raised the question of whether or not it was desirable to continue to supply these nations with arms as originally planned. The containment of Japanese expansion in the Pacific followed by the successful invasion of North Africa had all but ended the possibility of a major attack on the Western Hemisphere. War and State Department spokesmen agreed in June 1943 that there was very little reason to keep up the supply of arms to Latin America for the purpose of hemisphere defense. As foreseen in 1941, the allocations to some states were beginning to arouse the jealousy and distrust of others. At the request of Under Secretary of State Welles, the Army's Operations Division drafted a revised statement of policy to govern the supply of lend-lease material to Latin America, and the Navy and State Departments approved this statement on 6 August 1943. The revised policy, adhered to by the United States with only minor exceptions during the last two years of the war, called for the continued military equipment of the Latin American countries for the following wartime purposes:

(1) The continued development and preparation of such Latin American ground, naval, and air forces with their supporting establishments and installations as may be required for joint employment with forces of the United Nations in anti-submarine and other military operations in defense of our common interests.


(2) The training and equipping of such Latin American forces as may be employed in conjunction with forces of the United Nations in offensive operations overseas.

(3) The repair and maintenance, insofar as may be practicable, of existing equipment and that to be furnished in the future.

(4) The furnishing of munitions and equipment of type and in the quantities best designed to maintain internal stability in those countries whose governments continue to support the United States. 86

In September, again at the Department of State's urging, the Army and Navy revived the joint Advisory Board on American Republics and gave it the task of spelling out the new Latin American arms policy in greater detail. Its handiwork became the basis for formal action by the joint Chiefs of Staff at the end of 1943.87 In brief, the Army's policy during 1944 was to reduce lend-lease aid to Latin America to the greatest possible extent, except to those nations contributing directly to the war effort.88

Various considerations nevertheless continued to make small allotments of military equipment to most of the Latin American nations necessary during the last two years of war, and the Brazilian Expeditionary Force in particular required large quantities of American material and assistance. Thus, the ultimate dollar value of Army aid to Latin American under lend-lease during the war reached a total of about $324,000,000-somewhat more than that contemplated in the 1941 program and almost exactly the amount specified in the basic lend-lease agreements of 1941-43. About 71 percent of this total represented military aid to Brazi1.89 The final tabulation of all lend-lease aid granted to the American republics during and after the war amounted to about $500,000,000, and by 1948 they had repaid the United States nearly $70,000,000.90

It would be both improper and impossible to use a financial accounting of lend-lease aid as a measure of the true worth of inter-American solidarity


during World War II. Many other items would have to be considered on both sides of the ledger. Sixteen of the Latin American nations sanctioned the development in their territory of air and naval bases that were available to United States forces for regular or emergency use during the war. All of Latin America joined in rendering economic aid of incalculable value to the war effort of the United Nations. The United States helped Latin America in many ways other than the supply of military and naval equipment and services. Nevertheless, although aid of the latter sort amounted to only 1 percent of the total expenditures of the United States Government under the lend-lease program, it went a long way toward assuring the military collaboration of the American nations during and after the war.




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