740.00111 A.R./1027: Telegram

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

189. My telegram No. 183, April 29, 7 p.m. President Vargas approved Aranha’s attitude.

Rodrígues Alves arrived Monday afternoon, talked with Aranha Monday evening and yesterday and to Aranha and me this morning. He and Aranha are to lunch with President Vargas today. Aranha asked Rodrígues Alves in my presence if he believed in the sincerity of the Argentine suggestion that the United States, Brazil and Argentina “might consult with a view of some declaration which would reinforce our neutrality should the evolution of the war in Europe seem to make this advisable”. Rodrígues said yes. Aranha asked him if he thought that by taking advantage of the present situation the Argentine might be led into adopting a more open policy of Pan-Americanism than it has been willing to adopt in the past. Rodrígues said yes by reason of the existing circumstances: (1) its fear at this juncture of becoming isolated in the face of an aggressive German attitude; (2) possible British urgings to oppose Germany’s aggressive policies; (3) unstable domestic situation proves, he emphasized, that were it not for these circumstances the Argentine would not be willing to make any change in its policy hitherto maintained to Pan-Americanism.

President Vargas will instruct Rodrígues to inform President Ortiz that the Argentine proposal will be given ample study in a friendly and cooperative spirit and that a written reply will be transmitted at a later date by the Brazilian Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Aranha tells me that in his opinion, having in mind the factors developed in paragraph 3, it is worthwhile going carefully into the most recent Argentine suggestion with a view to studying the possibility of agreeing upon a declaration designed to reinforce our [Page 758] neutrality. He will appreciate an early expression of the Department’s views in the premises. He said also that this might possibly be a moment for bringing about an approximation to an ideal, that is, a genuine understanding among the United States, Brazil and Argentina.

Repeated to Buenos Aires.