File No. 763.72/7444

The Ambassador in Brazil ( Morgan ) to the Secretary of State


President of Brazil sent to Congress this afternoon following message regarding the torpedoing of the Lloyd Brasileiro steamer Mação, former German steamer Palatia:

Members of the National Congress: It is my painful duty to communicate to the National Congress that the Government has been informed through telegraphic messages from London and Madrid that a German submarine has torpedoed Brazilian ship Mação and that her commander has been seized.

The mere fact that this is the fourth Brazilian ship which has been sunk by German naval forces is a very serious matter, which moreover is aggravated by the seizure of the Brazilian commander.

Members of the National Congress, we must face the situation and recognize at once that a state of war is imposed upon us by Germany. Our prudent attitude will not prevent us from seeing the facts as they are; on the contrary, we now feel at liberty, in order to maintain the dignity of our country, to recommend belligerent retaliation.

In case Congress does not decide otherwise, the Government will order the occupation of the German warship which is in the port of Bahia and the imprisonment of her crew, besides decreeing the military internment of the crews of the ships which we are utilizing.

It appears that the moment has arrived to make legal our defensive attitude which has been justified by recent events and to develop the organization of national resistance; we will thereby complete the evolution of our external policy in readiness for any aggression that Brazil may in future suffer.