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

No. 3475

Sir: In amplification of Embassy’s telegram No. 161, of December 5, 2 p.m.,25 relative to the return to the United States of the members of the American Naval Mission to Brazil, I have the honor to enclose a copy, accompanied by an English translation, of the personal note of yesterday’s date, received in the afternoon, from the Brazilian Minister for Foreign Affairs, the contents of which note formed the basis of Embassy’s telegram No. 161. This was in reply to my personal note of December 2, a copy of which I have the honor to enclose.

After thanking the American Government for permitting the Government of Brazil an additional period after the date of the expiration of the contract in which to determine whether or not the Mission contract should be renewed and after expressing the Government’s regret at losing the services of the Mission on account of the necessity of reducing public expenditure, the note states that all the rights and privileges which officers of the Mission have enjoyed under the said contract shall be continued to them until January 31 next, upon which date the responsibilities and obligations which the Brazilian Government [Page 461] has entertained toward them shall cease to be binding. No statement is made as to whether or not the Mission shall continue to perform its duties until the 31st of January, and regarding that matter the Chief of Mission will confer with the Minister of Marine in conformity with the convenience of the Brazilian Navy and of the Mission. All officers who are returning to the United States will leave Brazil before January 31, the date of their departure depending upon the rapidity with which packers can prepare their furniture and household goods for shipment.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Respectfully yours,

Edwin V. Morgan
[Enclosure 1]

The American Ambassador (Morgan) to the Brazilian Minister for Foreign Affairs (De Mello Franco)

Dear Mr. Minister: Since having had the pleasure of talking with you on the diplomatic reception day, my Government has informed me that it will be agreeable if the date upon which the connection of the American Naval Mission with the Government of Brazil shall cease shall be fixed for the last day of January, 1931. That is the date which I suggested to you and which you accepted unofficially.

If Your Excellency’s Government agrees to that date, may we consider that it shall be the one upon which the work of the Mission shall terminate and the pay shall cease, which the Mission receives from the Brazilian Government.

In regard to other expenses relative to the Mission which Your Excellency’s Government will presumably desire to assume, they are covered by Article IV, Sections 4 and 6, of the late naval contract. Although that contract ceased to be operative on November 6 last, it would appear to be proper that the provisions of those sections shall continue to operate inasmuch as they relate to traveling expenses of the Mission to the United States and to the return there of their families, personal effects and household goods. I enclose a copy of the text of Article 4, which includes the two sections in question in case Your Excellency has not a copy at hand.

As the termination of the contract of the American Naval Mission with Your Excellency’s Government has been conducted through a “gentleman’s agreement” and not by the interchange of diplomatic notes, I would suggest that Your Excellency should write me personally in the same manner in which I am writing you, expressing your concurrence with the views which this letter contains, or suggesting such modifications therein as Your Government may desire to propose for submission to my own Government.

Edwin V. Morgan
[Page 462]
[Enclosure 2—Translation]

The Brazilian Minister for Foreign Affairs (De Mello Franco) to the American Ambassador (Morgan)

My Dear Mr. Ambassador: In reference to the correspondence exchanged between Your Excellency and the Chief of my Cabinet on November 5 last, I have the honor to renew to you and through your intermedium to the American Government, the thanks both of the Brazilian Government and of myself for the attentive manner with which the American Embassy and the State Department met the wishes of the Provisional Government in establishing a temporary modus vivendi between our respective Governments until we were able to examine the question of the renewal of the contract of the American Naval Mission, which terminated on November 6th last.

Confirming what I declared verbally to Your Excellency, and in answer to your letter of the 2nd instant, it is my duty to inform you that the Provisional Government, much to its regret, is unable to renew the said contract to continue to utilize the services which, since 1922, the brilliant and competent American Naval Mission has so efficiently rendered to our War Marine.

The present financial condition of Brazil constitutes the essential and prime preoccupation of the Provisional Government, which, in order to regulate the same, and to meet its obligations abroad, has adopted the strictest program of a reduction of expenses which can be followed without disorganizing the public services.

For this purpose, it has carefully examined the budgets inherited from the former Government and has suppressed all expenses which may be postponed.

It is my duty to add that, in accordance with the statement which I had the honor to make verbally to Your Excellency, the Provisional Government guarantees to the Naval Mission the rights which are contained in the contract of November 6th, 1922, until the 31st of January next, upon which date all the responsibilities and obligations which the Brazilian Government assumed under the terms of that instrument, shall end.

I believe that these terms are fully in accordance with those which Your Excellency and I agreed upon during our last conversation and with the contents of the letter I am now answering.

I avail myself [etc.]

A. de Mello Franco
  1. Not printed.