710.Consultation(2)/13: Telegram

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

177. From the Under Secretary. Your 291, June 18, 5 p.m. Please inform Aranha that while the purpose which has moved the President and him to suggest that the forthcoming consultation be held in Rio de Janeiro is fully understood and appreciated, there are one or two considerations to which I wish they would give full weight in order in no way to jeopardize the magnificent spirit of cooperation and solidarity which is now manifest in every country. Although our telegram indicated the willingness of this Government to attend a consultation in whatever capital was the preference of the other American countries, the twelfth resolution adopted at Panama has been generally interpreted as a commitment to hold the next meeting at Habana. Sixteen of the American republics have already definitely indicated their willingness to hold the meeting at Habana. Messersmith states that the Cuban Government is proceeding on the assumption that Habana will be the locus of the conference and expresses his belief that the Cuban Government will be very keenly disappointed if the conference were held elsewhere even though that possibility has been present since the beginning.

In view of the urgency of holding the meeting at the earliest possible moment and of the favorable response on the part of other governments to Habana as the seat of the meeting, I am hopeful that President Vargas and Aranha with these considerations before them will agree that a change to Rio might result in bad feeling not only in Cuba but in the other countries that have already agreed to Habana, some of whom, I am quite sure, for the sake of rapid hemisphere action and solidarity shelved their own ambitions. Perhaps what the President and Aranha have in mind might, to a certain extent, be realized by the selection of Rio as the seat of the following consultation. We would be very glad to support a suggestion to that effect. [Welles.]