740.0011 European War 1939/1258: Telegram

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

448. For the Under Secretary. Last paragraph of Department’s circular telegram of December 18, 4 p.m., and Department’s telegram No. 238, December 18, 6 p.m.32

[Page 108]

Aranha says that, of course, he wants always to be in agreement with you and, if you insist upon it, he will agree to the text as set out in the Department’s circular. However, he believes that it will be a “grave mistake” not to take notice of the sinking of the Spee as the Germans, in his opinion, undoubtedly would allege in reply that they had sunk the Spee only because they did not wish to violate Uruguayan neutrality measures; that on the other hand, the American Governments had taken no steps in connection with the presence of British cruisers in the vicinity of Montevideo.

Regarding the addition of words “among which” (my telegram No. 446, December 18, 1 p.m.33) he says that he makes that suggestion in view of the fact that article 22 of Brazil’s neutrality law goes even further than the suggested “rules to prevent belligerent vessels, et cetera”.

In connection with these two matters he received this morning the following telegram from his Ambassador at Buenos Aires

“Cantilo agrees in inserting in the text between the first and second paragraphs a new paragraph reading as follows:

‘They also take notice of the departure (and explosion) of the German warship in waters of the Rio de la Plata in compliance with the time limit which, in accordance with the rules of international law, was granted to it by the Government of Uruguay’.

He also agrees upon the addition proposed by Your Excellency in the last paragraph stating ‘adoption of rules among which those which prevent, et cetera’, which in fact gives greater scope to the consultations.”

  1. Latter not printed.
  2. Not printed.