740.00111 A.R./1046: Telegram

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

124. Your 213, May 13, noon.

Paragraph 1. There has been no leak in Washington with regard to the Argentine proposal. There is every indication that the information concerning it was obtained by the Associated Press in Buenos Aires.

Paragraph 2. With regard to the initiative taken by the Government of Uruguay, this Government had no inkling of it until the suggestion was made by Guani to Minister Wilson in Montevideo on May 10.

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Paragraph 3. Please tell Aranha that I quite agree that it is desirable for Brazil and the United States to take some definite position on these matters. This Government has informed the Uruguayan Government that it will be glad to support the Uruguayan suggestion. In my judgment the most constructive suggestion that can be put forward with regard to the Argentine proposal is for the Argentine Government to be informed that in view of the very many serious questions which the Argentine proposal raises it would seem logical that the Argentine proposal be submitted to the Permanent Neutrality Committee96 now sitting in Rio de Janeiro which was set up by unanimous agreement of all of the American Republics for the express purpose of considering all matters relating to the neutrality of the American Republics during the present war and to formulate recommendations to the respective American governments with regard thereto. It would seem to me that this would be the orderly procedure required by the Panama agreements and, furthermore, that full consideration could in this way be given to all of the problems raised by the Argentine suggestion.

Please say to Aranha that I would be grateful for his interpretation of the last sentence of the communiqué issued to the press yesterday morning by the Argentine Foreign Minister, which reads: “For the supreme interests of America a merely juridical concept of neutrality should be replaced by a circumstantial and coordinated policy of vigilance.” Does Aranha understand this to imply a suggestion on the part of the Argentine Government that a discussion be undertaken by the American Republics on the subject of the coordination of continental defense measures.

  1. See Vol. v , section under General entitled “The Inter-American Neutrality Committee.”