810.20 Defense/58⅙: Telegram

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

228. For the Under Secretary. I discussed the Department’s telegram 131, May 23, noon,55 this morning with Aranha. He says that Brazil is ready to “cooperate 100% with the United States in plans for military and naval defense or to repel aggression, and even to cooperate with the United States in war.” He confirmed what he told me in my note to you No. 129 of May 2056 in reply to your No. 28 of May 8. Aranha talked to Góes Monteiro and Góes affirms that the Brazilian authorities are fully disposed to cooperate in the sense desired. In this connection, Góes referred to the letter to General Marshall, copy of which was transmitted with my No. 128 of May 1757 and desires that the contents of that letter reach General Marshall as soon as possible. Aranha brought up again today the matter of the importance of the early arrival here of Lieutenant Colonel Miller to take over the headship of the military mission. The Brazilian military authorities, he says, will be delighted to discuss the matters of defense, aggression, et cetera, with Colonel Miller as soon as he reaches here (under auspices of Aranha and me).

However, Aranha says that he is not in favor of discussing the matters mentioned in Department’s telegram No. 131 with the other [Page 43] American Republics. Nor does he like the plan for officers of the United States to travel to Brazil under the circumstances setting [set?] out in the second paragraph of the Department’s telegram.

He repeats and emphasizes that as soon as Colonel Miller comes here as head of the military mission they will be glad to continue the conversations and correspondence which General Góes Monteiro has been carrying on with General Marshall with the end in view of full cooperation on the part of Brazil with the United States in regard to plans for defense, plans to repel aggression and even further than that if desired.

The reasons Aranha gives for his stand are these: There is no difference of opinion in the army as to the necessity of full cooperation under all circumstances between the Brazilian and United States military authorities; but the army he says would not approve a scheme for continental defense. Moreover, due to the presence of huge German-descended populations in this country and to the existence of the undercover Nazi-minded Integralista party and also to the fact that a good many officers in the army have very high admiration for the German military machine, the Brazilian Government must move with circumspection; also they do not want to stop the flow of what they term essential armaments from Germany.

(The Government is aware of the fifth-column danger here and aware that German residents even in Rio de Janeiro are now talking openly in unguarded fashion of what “will take place here later on.” The German Embassy has adopted an arrogant tone in its notes to the Foreign Office since the recent German victories.)

In conclusion, he repeated, with the United States Brazil will go all the way, but does not want to get tied up with any other country or countries.

  1. See footnote 29, p. 16.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not printed; letter to General Marshall not attached to file.