839.24/3–1846: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Brazil ( Daniels )

secret

394. Reurtel 537 Mar 18.30 You should have a frank and confidential talk with the FonMin expressing this Govts concern on learning of possibility Brazilian Govt might be disposed to sell arms to Trujillo.

FonMin will doubtless remember that only a few years ago several thousand Haitians were massacred by Dominican troops. Accordingly, when Dominican Govt requested arms of us in Nov, we declined to supply them and stated the reasons therefor, commenting that since the munitions could be used only against a neighboring country or against the people of the Dominican Republic, compliance with the request would not contribute to cause of peace on Island of Hispaniola. We furthermore pointed out that it did not appear that supplying these arms was necessary to the defense of the hemisphere. We have [Page 822] since had discussions with the British, whom Trujillo also approached, and that Govt agreed with our attitude and is supporting it. Please state to ForMin that we are confident that Brazil will do likewise.

For your confidential information Dept is puzzled at apparent inconsistency of Brazil’s undertaking to supply arms to Trujillo when it is seeking further supplies thereof from the US. It is also suggested that you examine possibility that arms which Brazil contemplates furnishing Trujillo might be Lend-Lease material supplied by US. If this is case, first paragraph Article 6 of agreement Oct 1, 194131 would prohibit re-transfer without consent President US.

Repeated to Ciudad Trujillo.

Byrnes
  1. Not printed; the Chargé in Brazil reported that Brazilian officials had confirmed reports that Dominicans were about to purchase arms and munitions from the Brazilian Ministry of War, and, in response to the request of the Charge, they consented to postpone consummation of deal pending further consultation concerning question of political complications and misunderstandings (839.24/3–1846).
  2. For text of Lend-Lease Agreement between the United States and Brazil, see Foreign Relations, 1941, vol. vi, p. 538.