The Ambassador in Brazil (Berle) to the Secretary of State
[Received 6:27 p.m.]
1268. Over the week-end Truslow of the Rubber Development Corporation conferred with Bouças, and I with the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Macedo Soares, regarding prospective Argentine arrangements. It was evident from the beginning that the Brazilian Government would resent any dealing with the Argentine Government to which they were not also a party—which is not unnatural since the immediate subject matter relates to handling of a Joint Rubber Control to which our two Governments have been parties.
In result Rubber Development Corporation and the Brazilian Rubber authorities agreed on a program which appears to be acceptable to the Foreign Office and should be cleared today with President Vargas. This will be formalized by a brief exchange of notes between the Embassy and the Foreign Office after which Truslow and Silveira81 will leave for Buenos Aires tomorrow morning.
The substance of the agreement follows the lines of my earlier telegram on this subject. Truslow is reporting fully on technical aspects to RDC and copies of the documents will be forwarded by airmail. In general, I believe that:
- No additional rubber need be given to Argentina. She will get enough advantage out of the synthetic rubber which we can supply and which will enable her to increase her supplies by mixing with crude rubber.
- Since there will be an interim period of about 4 months before she can change over her production, a limited number of tires must be supplied from here, the Brazilian and American experts agree that about 5,000 should be enough. This will probably be the subject of further bargaining in Argentina.
- The Brazilian Foreign Office feels as I do that Argentina is more interested in rubber than in anything else. Therefore, a rubber agreement should not be made until Argentina has agreed on all of the other matters which may be in issue.82 We are assuming that McClintock83 has the full list of topics in Buenos Aires. If Argentina gets her rubber she probably can and will be pretty independent about other matters.
- All conversations with Argentina are, of course, subject to approval by Washington and Rio.
In the course of these conversations, the RDC wished to extend the rubber agreement for another year, which has been agreed and the Brazilians wished a “token” shipment of Brazil nuts—which the RDC has likewise reluctantly agreed to.
I am happy to say that the conversations have been on the frankest and most friendly basis and the result seems to be about as good as can be expected thus far. Of course, we have not yet met the Argentines.
[An agreement on rubber and rubber products between the United States, Argentina, and Brazil was signed at Buenos Aires, May 2, 1945; for text, see Department of State, Treaties and Other International Acts Series No. 1542, or 60 Stat. (pt. 2) 1821.]
- Presumably Mario Moreira de Silva, chief economic specialist of the Brazilian Ministry for Foreign Affairs.↩
- For documentation on problems connected with deterioration of relations between the United States and Argentina, see pp. 366 ff.↩
- John McClintock, Special Assistant to Assistant Secretary of State Rockefeller.↩