732.61/10–947: Telegram

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


1399. During call on Foreign Minister yesterday evening I took occasion to inquire whether there was any truth to rumors which have appeared in local press that Brazil may soon break relations with Russia.

Fernandes replied that deep indignation and resentment had been caused in Brazil by scurrilous and slanderous article about President Dutra which had appeared in Literary Gazette (Moscow’s 2985 to SecState, October 410) in view of its provocative nature as well as its perversions and fabrications and since article represented a deliberate affront by strictly controlled Soviet press, Brazilian Ambassador in Moscow was being instructed to demand an apology and retraction.

If, as Foreign Minister fears, Soviets refuse comply with Brazilian demands than Brazilian Government will sever diplomatic relations with Russia.

He added that events had already demonstrated that Brazilian collaboration with Russia was impossible. Furthermore, whereas Brazilian Mission in Moscow was isolated and its personnel ill-housed and all manner of obstacles were placed in its way, Soviet Mission in Rio had been accorded every facility and complete freedom of action. This they had abused by bringing in numerous agents and stirring up all kinds of trouble. In view foregoing, Brazil had everything to gain and nothing to lose by rupture in relations.

[Page 395]

He realized, of course, that our position was different: US could not afford lose contact with Russia in view situation in Europe, the fact that several peace treaties awaited negotiation or ratification and for other weighty reasons. This explained why we did not take any drastic action following Molotov’s rebuff to our protest against similarly venomous Soviet press articles about President Truman recently.11

Although none of these considerations seem to apply in case of Brazil Foreign Minister stated that he would welcome any views which Dept might care to express on course which Brazilian Government proposes pursue if satisfaction from Soviets not forthcoming.

Department repeat to Moscow.

  1. Not printed.
  2. For documentation on this incident, see vol. iv, pp. 514 ff.