File No. 763.72/5121

The Brazilian Ambassador ( Da Gama) to the Secretary of State

[Translation]

Mr. Secretary of State: The President of the Republic has just instructed me to inform your excellency’s Government that he has approved the law which revokes Brazil’s neutrality in the war between [Page 295]the United States of America and the German Empire. The Republic has thus recognized the fact that one of the belligerents is a constituent portion of the American Continent and that we are bound to that belligerent by traditional friendship and the same sentiment in the defense of the vital interests of America and the accepted principles of law.

Brazil ever was, and is now, free from warlike ambitions, and while it always refrained from showing any partiality in the European conflict, it could no longer stand unconcerned when the struggle involved the United States actuated by no interest whatever but solely for the sake of international judicial order and when Germany included us and the other neutral powers in the most violent acts of war.

While the comparative lack of reciprocity on the part of the American republics has hitherto divested the Monroe Doctrine of its true character, permitting an interpretation based on the prerogatives of their sovereignty, the present events, now bringing Brazil to the side of the United States at a critical moment in the history of the world, continue to impart to our foreign policy a practical form of continental solidarity; a policy, however, which was also that of the former regime whenever one of the other sister friendly nations of the American Continent was concerned. The Republic has strictly observed our political and diplomatic traditions and remained true to the liberal principles in which the nation was nurtured.

Thus understanding our duty, and taking the position indicated by Brazil’s antecedents and the conscience of a free people, whatever developments the morrow may have in store for us, we shall conserve the constitution which governs us and which has not yet been surpassed in the guaranties due to the rights, lives, and property of foreigners.

In bringing the above stated resolution to your excellency’s knowledge I beg you to be pleased to convey to your Government the sentiments of unalterable friendship of the Brazilian people and Government.

I avail myself [etc.]

Domicio da Gama