The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Brazil (Caffery)
569. Your 834, July 12, 1941.19 The Department, in conjunction with the Maritime Commission, is finding it increasingly difficult to continue obtaining shipping space for certain commodities, for example, oil and coal, represented by the Brazilian Government as essential to the Brazilian economy. Nevertheless, it is making every effort to see that Brazil receives and continues to receive an equitable share of the available shipping facilities. At the same time, the Department is disturbed by the delay in placing the immobilized ships in Brazilian ports into service. The negotiations, which are reported to be in progress for the purchase of these ships, do not appear to have much chance of success and the Department would greatly appreciate direct and immediate action on the part of Brazil in making these ships available for its own trade, thus aiding the Department in the more general task of providing all possible shipping facilities for inter-American commerce. The resolution of April 26, 1941 of the Inter-American Financial and Economic Advisory Committee and the plan subsequently evolved for the use of the immobilized ships (see Department’s circular telegram of June 24, 1941) give adequate and justifiable grounds for taking steps with respect to these vessels.
It may further be pointed out that United States shipping authorities are not likely to feel inclined to give sympathetic hearing to requests [Page 202] for additional services or even the maintenance of present services when perfectly serviceable vessels are lying unused in the ports of the country making such a request. The Department envisages the present shipping problem as one of vital interest to all the American republics, and, as such, soluble satisfactorily only by joint and cooperative action of the republics.
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