862.857/55: Telegram

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

35. Please inform Aranha that this Government has received his message communicated through the Government of Panama regarding the sinking of the German freighter Wakama. The Department is in complete agreement that this incident constitutes a violation of the Declaration of Panama and feels that a collective statement by the American republics might be made and transmitted to the Government of Brazil through the Government of Panama, supporting the Brazilian protest and stating that this incident, like any belligerent activity carried on within the waters adjacent to the American continent, necessarily tends to affect the security of normal maritime routes of communication and trade between the countries of America and prejudices that assurance of security and of freedom from involvement in hostilities to which the American republics are entitled in view of their distance from the theatre of war.

In event that such a collective statement is agreed to, and that the competence of the Neutrality Committee at Rio is established, Department would suggest that the Committee take up the matter, with a view to considering whether any measures along the lines indicated in the statement of December 23 transmitted to the belligerent governments are called for in the circumstances.