810.20 Defense/6994/6

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

No. 4920

Sir: Referring to the last paragraph of my telegram No. 751 of June 28, 6 p.m., I have the honor to report that the War Department has set out another condition (a perfectly acceptable condition, it is true) concerning the secrecy to be maintained; but, having in mind the Brazilian methods, this will again slow up the conclusion of the more or less formal agreement that the War Department wants signed apparently before they send down staff officers to begin conversations. All of this is a mistake: as I remarked before, the staff officers should have been sent as soon as the Brazilians agreed to their coming: if they had come at once it is possible that constructive conversations would now be going on in regard to the defense measures to be taken in the northeast. Our staff officers, if they win the confidence of their Brazilian colleagues, can contribute considerably to the end of our being eventually allowed to participate in a direct fashion in the defense of that area.

As I have set out before, there is only one possible way to persuade the Brazilian military authorities to allow us to send officers and troops to the Natal area and that is under the guise of teaching them how to use the arms we furnish them; possibly for instance a training center might be set up near Natal with United States equipment, utilities, training facilities, etc. Brazil could complete the division that it is now building up in that area and could send there also some additional special units. If we provided the equipment for a small air force, for anti-aircraft units, for mechanized units, for anti-tank units, for seacoast defenses and for mobile ground [Page 504] troops, it is very possible that a suggestion that a group of say one hundred officers and one thousand NCO’s to be sent there for instruction purposes would be favorably received. I repeat we would have to be prepared to furnish all the necessary equipment to complete the armament of the division and special units with heavy machine guns, as well as the necessary special weapons such as batteries of 155 GPF coast defense guns, 37 m/m and 90 m/m (or 3") anti-aircraft guns and motorized and armored equipment.

Respectfully yours,

Jefferson Caffery