740.0011 European War 1939/3721: Telegram

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

267. My 266, June 10 [11], noon. President Vargas first stated in his Navy Day address that “there are no longer any differences on this Continent. We are united by bonds of close solidarity to all of the American nations in ideals and aspirations and in the common interest of our defense”. He then went on to say: “We and all humanity are passing through a historical moment of grave repercussions resulting from rapid and violent changes in values. We are headed for a future [Page 617]different from anything we have known in the line of economic, social or political organization and we feel that the old systems and antiquated formulas have entered into decline. It is not however the end of civilization as the pessimists and staunch conservatives claim, but the tumultuous and fruitful beginning of a new era. Vigorous peoples, ready to face life, must follow the line of their aspirations instead of wasting time in the contemplation of that which is tottering and falling in ruins. It is therefore necessary to understand our times and remove the hindrances of dead ideas and sterile ideals”. Further on he said: “Political order is no longer made in the shadow of the vague rhetorical humanitarianism which sought to abolish frontiers and create an international society without characteristics or friction, united and fraternal, enjoying peace as a natural right and not as a day to day conquest. Instead of this panorama of balance and of just distribution of the world’s riches we are witnessing the exasperation of nationalism, strong nations imposing their will by the sentiment of nationality and being sustained by the conviction of their own superiority. The era of improvident liberalism, sterile demagoguery, useless individualism and the sowers of disorder has passed. Political democracy is being substituted for economic democracy where the power, emanating directly from the people and instituted for the defense of their interests, organizes labor—the source of national greatness—and not ways for private fortune. There is no longer room for regimes founded on privilege and class distinction; only those which incorporate the nation in the same duties and offer equitable social justice and opportunities in the struggle for life can survive”. He continued: “The order created by new circumstances which are guiding nations is incompatible with individualism, at least when it clashes with the collective interest. It does not recognize rights which interfere with obligations to the nation. Happily in Brazil we have established a regime which is adequate for our necessities without imitating or affiliating itself with any of the current ideologies. It is a Brazilian regime of order and peace in accordance with the nature and traditions of our people, capable of bringing about more rapidly our general progress and of guaranteeing the security of all.”

Caffery