740.0011 European War 1939/3712: Telegram

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

167. Whereas no editorial comment has yet appeared on President Vargas’ speech of June 11, the headlines are frankly alarmist. The New York Times head to the Associated Press story reads “Vargas Backs the ‘Virile’; Predicts New World Order. Attack on ‘Sterile Demagogy of Political Democracy’ by Brazil’s President Seen as Divergence From Roosevelt”. The New York Herald Tribune begins “Vargas Defends Force”, and continues “Lauds Aim of ‘Vigorous Peoples’ “. Other headlines are in a similar vein.

The Associated Press story emphasizes the contrast between President Vargas’ speech of June 11 and President Roosevelt’s Charlottesville address of June 10, and also states that it is reliably reported in Buenos Aires that both Argentina and Paraguay have strengthened their frontier garrisons.

A story filed by John W. White (New York Times) from Montevideo avers that diplomats and editors in that city describe the speech as “the first outspoken Fascist speech by any South American president”. This story adds that the Critica of Buenos Aires carries a streamer as follows: “Vargas, with Fascist language, justifies the aggression of the barbarians”. White goes on to say that comment was caused in Montevideo “by the fact that the Brazilian censorship had prevented correspondents from commenting on today’s speech by the President and have permitted them to file the texts or resumes only”. A New York Times story under a Washington date line states that while Aranha, so long as he remains in office, will do nothing at variance with American international policy, President Vargas on the other hand has not always been patient with American ways in foreign policy, especially with the delays of democratic processes.

A résumé of editorial comment will be telegraphed to you tomorrow.

(A United Press telegram from London in the New York Mirror concerning the assumption by Brazilian consulates of Italian interests in Great Britain is published under the head “Brazil a Pal”.)

The Secretary at his press conference today, in reply to a request for comment on the speech, said “I don’t think we make a practice of commenting on speeches delivered by heads of other governments to their own people. Of course, as I say, I have not seen the speech either nor the background. I may add that I do not recall any period when the relations between our two countries were more intimate and wholehearted in their understanding and friendliness and spirit of cooperation than those relations are today.”