Memorandum by Mr. Alexander K. Sloan of the Office of the Economic Adviser
On the afternoon of March 7th, Mr. Eugene P. Thomas, President of the National Foreign Trade Council, accompanied by Mr. Richard P. Momsen, Chairman of the Legislation Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce for Brazil, spent some time in my office.
Mr. Thomas stated that during the last 2 months no complaints had been received by the firms signing the frozen milreis agreement with Brazil43 as to lack of exchange; however, due to unchecked imports, a matter which the Brazilian delegates to the World Economic Conference, Dr. Numa de Oliveira and Valentin Boucas, had agreed would be attended to as soon as the agreement mentioned had been signed,44 the situation was not as good as hoped for. As a consequence of these excessive imports, since June 1933, a sum of frozen milreis totaling about $25,000,000 had accumulated in Brazil. Mr. Thomas, when discussing this situation recently with Mr. Boucas, was informed by the latter that the matter could be arranged by another funding agreement.
Mr. Thomas also stated that the Council of Inter-American Relations Incorporated was requesting from all its members a statement of the accumulation of frozen milreis during the last six or seven months, and intended, upon the receipt of this information, to request from Dr. Figueiredo, Director of the Exchange Control, a statement as to its future policy in allocating exchange. He added that Mr. Kent,45 prior to his resignation, had requested a monthly statement from Dr. Figueiredo as to his allocation of exchange to various nationalities, [Page 579] but that Dr. Figueiredo had paid no attention to this request. The Council had then asked the American Chamber of Commerce for Brazil to take up this matter and to see whether they could not get some information along this line from him. The Chamber had been averse to acting in this matter due to the possibility that Dr. Figueiredo would take umbrage and the various members of the Chamber would find the repercussion disadvantageous.
Mr. Thomas also expressed the opinion that the Council of Inter-American Relations would be very happy to see the Department send a representative to Rio de Janeiro to talk over the question of frozen milreis with competent Brazilian authorities. He was of the opinion that such a representative should cooperate with various local bodies in Rio de Janeiro representing American interests and also with the representative of the Council of Inter-American Relations who would probably be sent to Rio de Janeiro during the visit of the Department’s representative.
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