The Chargé in Brazil (Crosby) to the Secretary of State
[Received 6:32 p.m.]
27. I have just had an interview with Rear Admiral Vogelgesang who has been confined to his bed with a fever but is better. Neither the chief nor any other member of the Naval Mission is pushing the naval construction program. The Admiral informed me that the President wishes to initiate a program of replacement for old and, worn-out units and that at the request of the Minister of Marine a replacement program covering a period of 10 years was submitted. There has been no new construction since 1912; existing submarines are no longer useful and only 5 of the 11 destroyers are now in service; the others are undergoing extensive overhauling and are of little military value. Battleships have not been contemplated or recommended except that battleship tonnage should be utilized for the replacement of the São Paulo and the Minas Geraes, the two existing battleships. Construction will be governed by the financial situation in any event, and there has been no materialization of the rumored loan reported in my despatch no. 2206, May 28.2 This year, in any event, submarines only are likely to be provided for. The Admiral informs me that Ambassador Morgan, now in the United States, has a copy of the recommendations which were made to the Minister of Marine relative to the replacement building program and in which was outlined the Mission’s attitude on general naval policy of Brazil in response to a request of the Minister of Marine. Admiral Vogelgesang has stated to me that the attitude of the Mission to new construction is to harmonize as nearly as possible [Page 325] the views of the Secretary of State as known to him and the desires of the Brazilian Government to modernize strong naval defense.
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