832.00/5–1647: Telegram

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


596. Tribuna Popular published on May 15 facsimile of memorandum dated May 7 issued by General Saville’s7 executive officer to personnel, US Army section air, JBUSMC, stating that it was contemplated [Page 393] that an important political decision would be rendered by Brazilian Govt on following day, May 8, and that it was possible that there might be public demonstrations during next few days.

Memo cautioned personnel to avoid public gatherings, stay off streets as much as possible and wear civilian clothes after working hours.

In reproducing Saville’s memo, Tribuna Popular alleged that Truman was responsible for closing Communist Party and that American “imperialists” knew what vote of the electoral tribunal would be day before it took place. Tribuna Popular today points out that Saville’s memo referred to important “political” decision of “government” not merely “tribunal”. Although Saville has made no mention to anyone of fact, it is known to Embassy that he was not in town on day on which this memo was issued.

Saville yesterday gave statement to O Globo stating in substance that on his honor as a soldier he had no knowledge that Supreme Electoral Tribunal would cancel Communist Party registration when he issued his instruction preceding day; that this instruction was issued as matter of routine to reiterate our traditional position that Brazilian domestic affairs are reserved exclusively to Brazilians; that like other newspaper readers he learned from published accounts that the tribunal was about to render judgment; consequently cautioned personnel to be alert in avoiding any act which might even inadvertently be interpreted as indication of participation in domestic affairs of Brazil. Other papers have not featured story although several have carried Saville’s statement.

I called Saville’s attention to fact that it was unwise to have issued statement in effort to justify his instruction and that had I been consulted such statement would not have been made. I also cautioned Saville and other members of JBUSMC to make no written instructions of this nature in future.

  1. Brig. Gen. Gordon P. Saville, United States Army member, Joint Brazil-United States Military Commission.