Outlying Bases

June 16, 1944

Report Outline
Postwar Rights At American-Built Bases
Atlantic Bases
Pacific Bases

Postwar Rights At American-Built Bases

Demands in congress for united states ownership

Future american rights at defense bases leased from Great Britain in 1940, and at other naval bases and air fields constructed by the United States on foreign soil, have been the subject of sharp exchanges of opinion during recent weeks between members of the United States Congress and the British Parliament. Exploratory conversations have already been held between representatives of the British government and the American State Department, and London has announced tentative plans for an international conference on the subject “within the year.” A proposal by Prime Minister Fraser of New Zealand for a conference of Pacific nations to consider the ultimate disposition of air and naval bases in that area also is awaiting action by other governments.

In Congress, a small but determined group, which includes members of both parties, has been urging that United States ownership be substituted for the leases under which Atlantic bases are held and that foreign nations be required to guarantee equal American rights at all air terminals built by the United States for war purposes. The committee of five senators that toured the battle zones last year reported in favor of retaining the right to use air bases and other installations built by the United States “in all parts of the world.” A subcommittee of the House Naval Affairs Committee recommended, Apr. 20, 1944, after returning from an inspection tour of the Caribbean that arrangements be made at once to replace the 99-year leases on bases in that area with title in perpetuity.

Rep. Maas (R., Minn.), ranking minority member of the Naval Affairs Committee, called on the House floor for “sufficient bases, American owned and controlled, throughout the world to assure our own defense,” and said he had “been hammering at this for a long time.” In the Senate, Radcliffe (D., Md.) demanded “bases in all oceans of the world for both our shipping and air commerce.” Further Senate backing was given the House subcommittee report in the course of debate on extension of lend-lease by Extender (D., La.) and Brooks (R., III.). “We are not a ninety-nine year country,” said Brooks.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Military Bases
Sep. 30, 2016  Closing Guantanamo
Feb. 15, 1980  American Military Strength Abroad
Sep. 14, 1960  Foreign Bases: Declining Asset
Jan. 30, 1957  Future of Overseas Bases
Jul. 09, 1951  Overseas Bases
Jun. 16, 1944  Outlying Bases
Feb. 16, 1939  American Naval and Air Bases
Military Bases