832.796/823: Telegram

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

837. For the Acting Secretary. My 829, March 12, 7 p.m. On Saturday last, Ribeiro Dantas, Condor president, and Major Muricy went to see President Vargas with a letter Dantas received from Harding when they were both in Buenos Aires recently. The letter contained the following: “I would recommend that the American Government cooperate with Condor if you take the following steps to insure severance of all Axis connections:” Then followed the conditions which in themselves are not objectionable.

However, President Vargas did not like this and had the order issued to Standard Oil.

Aranha says that as much as Vargas wants to cooperate with us in the war against Germany, he is not happy about what he considers attempts on our part to interfere in his domestic concerns.

He feels now apparently about the Proclaimed List as Aranha did a couple of months ago. “He feels likewise”, says Aranha, “that he is perfectly competent to decide what activities here are harmful to Brazil and what are not.”

Aranha invited pointed attention also to remarks of President Roosevelt in regard to the attitude to be taken to aliens in the United States.

Aranha said moreover that if Standard Oil refused to deliver the 10,000 liters of gasoline at Corumbá and the 15,000 liters at São Luiz the matter would become one for immediate Government action. Under those circumstances I told Standard this morning that it would be the better part of discretion for them to deliver the gasoline; especially as the amounts are small.

I take Hardin to a meeting with Aranha, Dantas and Muricy this afternoon.