The Chargé in Brazil (Burdett) to the Secretary of State
[Received 4:15 p.m.]
648. For the Under Secretary. Reference Embassy’s telegram No. 642, December 7, 2 p.m. The Foreign Office sent a note to the British Ambassador here on December 7 and has furnished this Embassy with the following communication regarding the note:
“The British note of December 6 said that His Majesty’s Government was willing to authorize the immediate sailing of Siqueira Campos if the Brazilian Government would comply with certain conditions. Referring to the statement made in the British note that the British Government did not find in the Brazilian note the proof that the material in question had been paid prior to the note of November 28, 1939, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brazil said:
‘The Brazilian Government does not see any reason why it should give any account of its transactions to a third power. However, as Your Excellency was kind enough to inform your Government that the payment of the material in question had been made prior to November of last year, the Brazilian Government is willing to authorize the Banco do Brasil to supply to Your Excellency the proof to that effect.
As to the conditions set forth in the British note, the Brazilian Government has already shown its desire to abide by the first one.[Page 650]
As far as the warrant scheme is concerned, the Lloyd Brasileiro being a property of the Brazilian Government, it cannot assume obligations which might jeopardize Brazil’s neutrality, but the Brazilian Government will recommend to that enterprise the adoption of the measures proposed by His Majesty’s Government with the view to facilitating shipping.
As to the other conditions, His Majesty’s Government will understand that the neutral position of Brazil imposes to [on?] its Government the observance of certain duties not only in relation to the belligerents but also in relation to the other American Republics, with which Brazil assumed obligations which it cannot cancel unilaterally.
Finally, as to the last paragraph of the British note, the Brazilian Government wishes to add that it is in fact desirable that the passengers on board the Siqueira Campos should not continue to suffer the inconvenience resulting from the detention of the ship. The Brazilian Government is conscious of having done everything in its power to obtain that desideratum.’”