840.48 Refugees/2519a: Telegram

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

166. From the Under Secretary.12 James G. McDonald, Chairman of the President’s Advisory Committee on Refugees, came to see me recently. He told me of a conversation he had had with Henry Ford and some of his associates last week in the course of which it had been [Page 437] intimated to Mr. McDonald that Henry Ford would be willing to make available to European refugees for resettlement a considerable portion of the Ford properties in Brazil. Mr. McDonald asked my opinion.

I replied that it seemed to me that two basic points were involved concerning which clarification would have to be obtained before any useful opinion could be given: first, whether Mr. Ford or any other individual or agency was prepared to put up a financial contribution sufficient to take care of the people to be resettled and to provide for their maintenance over a period of years; and second, what the attitude of the Brazilian Government would be in view of their present internal problem, the existing world situation, and their existing legislation concerning immigration.

It would be helpful for me if you would talk this over in a purely informal and personal way with Aranha13 and let me have his reactions. I understood clearly that the refugees under consideration would be carefully selected and would not be of any one given race or nationality. [Welles.]

  1. Sumner Welles.
  2. Oswaldo Aranha, Brazilian Minister for Foreign Affairs.