811.34532/3–2045: Telegram

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

866. The Embassy understands that Admiral Munroe22 is working on plans for withdrawal of the Navy from considerable parts of the Brazilian theatre. In accordance therewith his general outlined plan contemplates turning over to the Brazilian Navy under lend-lease23 the movable Navy supplies (other than the critical supplies which are to be removed) and in conjunction therewith the turning over to the Brazilian Air Force of certain American airfields in Brazil.

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For the guidance of the Embassy I request that the Department cable the following information:

1.
Are we correct in understanding that all of the real property and fixtures belong to Brazil under the agreement covering their installation?
2.
Have the turnover plans for this theatre been checked with the postwar planning committee of the Joint Chiefs of Staff so that suitable provision is being made in respect to those fields or bases which might be necessary for the defense of the hemisphere, perhaps under cooperative arrangement between Brazil and the United States? In this connection it will be recalled that the Army Air Force has already negotiated such an arrangement with regard to certain bases with the Brazilian Government, but at that time the Navy held this subject over for further consideration and later action.

The point of course, is that any cooperative arrangements regarding airfields or bases ought to be negotiated in conjunction with the proposed turnover of material rather than at a later time.

The contemplated procedure is to secure a blanket requisition by the Brazilian Navy and Air Force for all of the equipment of these bases and fields (other than critical) after which the bases and the material would be turned over in bulk to the Brazilian Navy or the Brazilian Air Force as the case might be.

Admiral Munroe is expected in Rio in a few days and I hope to discuss the matter with him. The Joint Chiefs of Staff plan for cooperative use of bases, et cetera, which was the foundation of the Army arrangement, but not as yet implemented by the Navy, is in the hands of the Under Secretary.24

Berle
  1. Adm. William R. Munroe, Commander of the Fourth Fleet.
  2. For draft text of basic Lend-Lease Agreement for the Latin American Republics, with specific reference to Brazil, see Foreign Relations, 1941, vol. vi, p. 139.
  3. Joseph C. Grew.