710 Consultation 4/12–2046: Telegram

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


2021. On my second call on President Dutra since my return here Thursday, December 11, in addition to other things discussed, I took this occasion to ask the President if there had been any change in Brazilian Govt’s view re Argentine problem and eventual holding of Rio Conference. The President replied that there had been no change and asked if there was any basis for my question.

I told the President that in General Obino’s57 visit with Acting Secretary Acheson he discussed the hemispheric defense plan and Rio Conference and that General Obino’s statements were not in accordance with views expressed to me by President Dutra, previous Minister Foreign Affairs João Neves da Fontoura and other Ministers of Brazilian Cabinet. The President asked in what respect did the General’s views conflict.

I did not wish to go into detail but explained to the President that the General was anxious that President Truman’s arms bill58 might be passed reasonably soon and that Brazil should receive arms in advance of other American Republics under this program. I stated that there was some question in the General’s mind whether other American Republics were ready to participate in arms program and that he especially questioned advisability of furnishing arms to Argentina now.

President Dutra stated that these views were strictly personal views of General Obino who had come to bid him farewell before his departure and that he had received no instructions to discuss with Dept of State or elsewhere. President Dutra also stated that he could understand General Obino’s desire as a military man that Brazil should be principal recipient in hemisphere of arms from US but that any such plan would react unfavorably for Brazil equally as much if not more than it would for US.

The President stated that as General Obino did not have authority to speak on behalf of Brazilian Govt he would appreciate it if I would telegraph Dept immediately so that there might be no misunderstanding in Dept reviews of Brazilian Govt vis-à-vis Argentina. The President reiterated his Govt’s desire to hold Rio Conference at early date and after US Govt was satisfied that Argentina had complied with commitments undertaken at Chapultepec and San Francisco.

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Although I did not discuss Obino’s visit to Dept with Foreign Minister, I did ask Foreign Minister if there was any change in Brazil’s policy with reference Argentina and Rio Conference. His comments were identical to those made by President Dutra yesterday.

  1. Lt. Gen. Salvador Cesar Obino, Brazilian Chief of Staff.
  2. See House Document No. 548, 79th Cong., 2d sess., pp. 3–5.