Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Latin American Affairs (Wilson)

Mr. Accioly, Counselor of the Brazilian Embassy, came in yesterday. He said that in the first informal conversation which the Brazilian Ambassador had with the Secretary on August 29 regarding a commercial agreement, the Ambassador had forgotten to mention an inquiry received from his Government whether this Government would consider it practical to constitute a commission of American experts to discuss the trade treaty in Rio concurrently with the discussions being held here. I said that I thought this would merely make for confusion and loss of time and effort. Mr. Accioly said that he felt the same way, but the Embassy had been instructed to raise the point and the Ambassador, who had gone back to Manchester on August 29, had requested him to take it up. I said I would take it up and advise him of the Department’s views.

Mr. Accioly also said the Embassy was instructed to inquire when we felt the Brazilian experts should be available in order that detailed discussions might begin. I said that my impression was that our preparation is at the point where we could take up the detailed discussions about as soon as Mr. Penna, the Brazilian Treasury delegate at London, could get over here. However, I would look into that also and advise him definitely.

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Mr. Accioly then asked my opinion concerning the possibility of granting the credit of $50,000,000 which the Brazilian Government sought from this Government. I said I thought this would be rather difficult. This Government had no authority to make direct loans. The R. F. C. could finance the purchase of surplus agricultural commodities, but this was not what Brazil was seeking. The Federal Reserve Banks had in the past participated with Central Banks of other countries in extending credits for stabilization of currencies. I said that just as soon as the Embassy would furnish us the memorandum on the matter which the Ambassador had mentioned, we would pass it on to the Treasury and to the Federal Reserve Board and the question would be given careful consideration.

After speaking with Mr. Caffery and Dr. McClure,9 I telephoned Mr. Accioly today to say that this Government felt that it would not be practicable to set up a commission of American experts in Rio to carry on trade discussions at the same time that such discussions were held here; we felt that nothing would be gained by this and that in fact it would probably only result in loss of time and duplication of effort. I also said that we suggested Monday, September 18, as a date for beginning detailed discussions with the experts, although if the Brazilian experts should desire to arrive here a little earlier than that, we could be prepared to talk with them.

Edwin C. Wilson
  1. Wallace McClure, Assistant Chief of the Treaty Division, Department of State.↩