811.24532/8–2345: Telegram

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

2642. Reference conversations between State and War relating to withdrawal of forces here and reorganization of theater into Air Transport Command transportation base.

General Wooten objects to any statement indicating rollup U.S. Army Forces, South Atlantic or to withdrawal of its headquarters. He is leaving for Washington to have conferences in War Department on August 30. I think he is not in agreement with conversion of this area from theater into facilities for supporting Air Transport Command.

General Kroner37 advises that Brazilian War Department unofficially informed him of request from Brazilian General commanding in that region that U.S. Army should begin to pull out and turn over an air and army installation at a base to Brazilian Army. I do not know that this needs to be taken too seriously but subject might get into politics.

I expect to discuss this matter with President Vargas within the next day or two. My present view is that if military forces are withdrawn with reasonable rapidity, first reaching stage of Air Transport Command and later stage of technical cooperation in handling bases [Page 630] we shall be better off. In my judgment there is no reason why United States Army Forces, South Atlantic reorganization as first step should not be taken soon. How soon we should get to second stage would turn largely on degree of use to be made of these bases in bringing home American troops and probability Brazilians will want some long term technical cooperation. It is of course desirable that we do not get ourselves into position of being asked to leave.

Please give me confidentially War Department ideas on subject.

  1. Brig. Gen. Hayes A. Kroner, United States Military Attached in Brazil.