Diary of Dwight D. Eisenhower

January 18, 1939

Major De Lalande, representative of Brant Co. (Paris) made another visit to Manila. He’s frightened we are going to buy a small amount of mortar equipment from American Armament Co. He talked & talked so much that he has convinced me that his company really fears A.A. Co. as possible competitor.  But he convinced the General that there might be some danger (just what I don’t know) in buying an experimental lot of A.A. equipment so that deal is off; although only one month ago it had been determined here in office to buy more of the stuff than I recommended. We don’t have policies, we just walk tight ropes! Anyway, we are apparently to wait some more to see whether the Assembly will pass our bill to remit customs duties. If they do then we’ll buy, the General says, a number of mortars directly from Brant with necessary training ammunition; to carry training along until U.S. Ord. gets in position to manufacture both on quantity and reasonable price basis. In the long run this may prove to be the best plan –but 60 days ago we told Department Commander that we were placing an immediate order for from 48-72 modern mortars (I recommended 12). We made this statement on what Sutherland told me was the General’s decision and with this understanding the Dept. C.O. authorized us to take 10 loaned mortars off Luzon for training use in South. Now we’ll wait another couple months to see what Assembly is going to do.