882.00 Revolutions/289

The Chargé in Brazil (Thurston) to the Secretary of State

No. 3901

Subject: Interruption of All America Cables Service With Santos.

Sir: In amplification of my telegram No. 60, of July 13, 1 P.M., on the above subject, I have the honor to inform the Department as follows:

On the evening of July 12, the Minister for Foreign Affairs requested me to call at his office, and upon my arrival there he complained energetically against the attitude which he alleged had been taken by the All America Cables with respect to the transmission from its Santos office of propaganda inimical to the interests of the Government of Brazil. Dr. Mello Franco stated that reports were being sent out from São Paulo, particularly to Buenos Aires, and distributed from that point to the rest of Latin America and to Europe favorable to the insurrectionary movement in São Paulo, despite the insistence of the Director General of Telegraphs that the Company should refuse to accept such messages for transmission. The Minister added that unless the Company immediately ceased to accept these messages he would forbid it to operate in Brazil, and he showed me a telegram which he said he had already dispatched to the Brazilian Ambassador at Washington in the nature of a protest along the foregoing lines to be delivered to the Department of State.

I told the Minister that in my opinion the Santos office of the Cable Company had no voice in the matter whatsoever, inasmuch as it certainly must be in the power of the insurrectionists; that it seemed to me that it would be an ill-advised action for the Government of Brazil to adopt such a drastic course with respect to such a reputable and important foreign enterprise as the All America Cables; and that I would at once communicate with the appropriate representatives here of the Company and inform him as quickly as possible of any statements they might make. Upon returning to the Embassy I communicated with the General Manager of the Company, who informed me that in the face of a threat to cut the Company’s [Page 406] cable if the Government’s wishes were not immediately acceded to, he had already taken steps to have the cable disconnected at Montevideo. This information was confirmed later by the special representative of the All America Cables, who is now in this City in connection with the Company’s contractual interests. I informed the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the action that had been taken by the Company, and he expressed great satisfaction.

While I seriously question the wisdom of the Company in taking the action it did, when obviously the Government of Brazil had no control over the Port of Santos, in which its office is located, and I likewise seriously question the propriety of the attitude assumed by the Government of Brazil in threatening such drastic action against this American enterprise, I have expressed no opinions on these points. Should the São Paulo revolution triumph, however, it is not improbable that the new Government would entertain much resentment against the Company on this score.

Respectfully yours,

Walter C. Thurston