832.24/276: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Johnson) to the Secretary of State

3964. Personal for the Under Secretary. Department’s 3684, December 4, 6 p.m.74 Lord Halifax received me this afternoon and I put before him the considerations in your telegram on the case of the Brazilian steamer Siqueira Campos. He seemed fully advised of the background and facts of the matter and said that it had already given him a good deal of trouble. He obviously fully understood our point of view and said that he sympathized with it, but said that without going into detail he could assure me the Brazilians did not have a good technical case; that to grant the release of the ship would make a breach in the principles of the blockade which was of real importance. If, therefore, the ship is to be released for considerations so important as to override the objections in principle of the Ministry of Economic Warfare, he feels that the British Government must request of the [Page 645] Brazilians a balancing concession on their part in certain matters connected with the enforcement of the blockade on which Brazil is said to have caused much dissatisfaction to the British authorities.

Lord Halifax has already discussed the matter with Mr. Dalton, Minister of Economic Warfare, and he promised me that he would do what he could to support our point of view in this particular case. In return, he said that he hoped you would give your support at Rio de Janeiro to the British request for a balancing concession on the part of Brazil, if you and the Secretary should find that request to be reasonable. I understood from him that a decision on the case in point may be expected shortly and will be communicated to you together with a statement of the concession desired from Brazil. He did not say exactly what this concession is but described it as technical.

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