Memorandum of Conversation, by the Acting Secretary of State

The Soviet Ambassador came to see me this afternoon at my request and I told him that the Acting Foreign Minister of Brazil, Mr. Velloso, an old colleague of mine in Japan, is now in Washington [Page 225] and would like to get into touch with the Soviet Ambassador with a view to initiating conversations looking to the establishment of diplomatic relations between Brazil and Soviet Russia. I said I understood that the matter had first been broached by Mr. Oumansky, the late Soviet Ambassador in Mexico, but that after Mr. Oumansky’s untimely death the Brazilians preferred to have the conversations take place in Washington. Mr. Velloso has asked my good offices in placing him in touch with Mr. Gromyko, and I said that I would be very glad to do this in an informal way, and I thought that the best arrangement would be for Mr. Velloso and Mr. Gromyko to meet at a favorable opportunity at my house. As Mr. Velloso had planned to leave Washington tomorrow—although he would be willing to postpone his departure for a day if necessary—it would be very helpful, provided Mr. Gromyko concurred, to have the meeting take place at my home this evening, and I suggested either the hour of seven o’clock or after a dinner which Mr. Velloso and I are both attending.

The Soviet Ambassador said that, according to his understanding, Mr. Oumansky had not taken the initiative in broaching this question in Mexico, but that there had been an exchange of views between him and the Brazilian Ambassador. Mr. Gromyko said that he would be very glad to meet Mr. Velloso either at his own Embassy or at my house. I said that Mr. Velloso, in view of his position as Acting Foreign Minister, would prefer that the meeting take place in a neutral spot. Mr. Gromyko accepted this view and said that he would be very glad to come to my house this evening after our dinner had broken up. I telephoned to Mr. Velloso, who concurred in this arrangement, and I said that I would telephone to Mr. Gromyko from the Carlton Hotel at the end of our dinner so that we could all proceed immediately to my house at that time.

Joseph C. Grew