710.11/12–1445: Telegram

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

3697. Foreign Minister53 has just given me copy of his note of December 13 to Foreign Minister of Uruguay in reply to latter’s note of [Page 209] November 21 regarding collective intervention. Brazilian note states that “it would not be advisable at this moment, for the peace of the Continent, above all considering that the international juridical organization is still imperfect, to abandon or deviate from” the principle of non-intervention so deeply rooted in the sentiments of the American peoples, but adds that “the evolution of international juridical conscience no longer permits a state to assert its sovereignty against the highest interests of cooperation among nations and the moral and material advancement of humanity”. Possibly when international organization is further advanced it may be possible to admit the existence of a super-national organ with powers of intervention in certain very special cases, but such an aspiration is not yet a reality. Brazil is willing to seek a solution to the problem preferably by means of consultation.

Brazilian note can be considered neither a rejection nor acceptance of the Uruguayan thesis, but consists rather of a series of pertinent observations upholding on the one hand the traditional principle of non-intervention but on the other hand admitting the possibility of modifying this policy under special circumstances as world organization develops.

Full text and translation of Brazilian note follow by air.

  1. Pedro Leão Velloso.