832.248/262: Telegram

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

581. My telegram No. 570, June 2, 4 p.m.16 I assume it will be obvious to the Department that if, after raising the high hopes of President Vargas, Aranha and the Minister for Air, we were to fail to let them have the bombers they would be disgusted and resentful.

I must respectfully again point out that the Brazilian authorities have been putting into effect a series of hemisphere defense measures solely because we asked them to do so: Yesterday arrived officers from our War Department for a medical survey in northeast Brazil; we are now engaged in negotiations for taking aerial photographs of the northeast region for our own use; we are now asking the Brazilian Army to be allowed to participate in their maneuvers in the northeast region; we are now asking the Brazilian Army to permit us to bring some of our General Staff here for defense conversations; we are now asking the Brazilian authorities to allow 20 English bombers to be flown over Brazilian territory; we succeeded in persuading the Brazilians to agree to prohibit the sale of strategic materials to the Axis powers; we secured the cooperation of the Brazilian authorities in constructing a whole series of air bases; we suggested that troops be moved to the northeast and the Brazilians are moving them; at our suggestion the Brazilian Navy is undertaking to construct a naval base at Natal; and many more cases.

The Brazilian Air Ministry has assigned personnel to work with our Air Mission to get ready to receive the bombers.

The Germans are continuing to offer to send arms here. General Góes Monteiro told General Miller a few days ago that the Germans have offered to send a cargo of German arms on a German ship to Brazil.

I am sending this telegram because I apprehend that the Brazilian authorities will be unwilling to continue indefinitely to do everything we ask them to when we may appear to them to be remiss on our side. I am, of course, fully aware that we made no commitments to General Amaro Bittencourt to furnish arms now or in the near future.

  1. Not printed.