740.00119 EW/11–1447

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

No. 3053

Sir: I have the honor to refer to Department’s telegram no. 1239 of November 4, 1947, and to my reply as contained in Embassy telegram no. 1549 of November 6, 1947,62 wherein I pointed out that the Minister of Foreign Affairs had indicated that the Government of Brazil definitely desired to acquire the vessels referred to in Embassy Note No. 486 of June 27, 1947, which followed the tenor of the draft transmitted to the Department in Embassy secret despatch no. 2186 of April 30, 1947, as amended in accordance with Department’s recommendation (see Department telegram no. 598 of June 9, 1947).63

A note confirming the foregoing has now been received from the Minister of Foreign Affairs and a copy thereof accompanied by an English translation is appended to the instant despatch as an enclosure.64 It will be noted there from that, after consultation with the competent naval authorities, the Minister of Foreign Affairs states that the Brazilian Government accepts the offer of the two vessels on the terms and under the conditions proposed in the note under reference. The exact text of the pertinent part of Note No. 486 to which the Minister refers reads as follows:

“Mindful of Brazil’s interest in reparations, the United States Government is investigating the possibility of making available to Brazil two ships from the United States share of the German navy—a measure which may be feasible as the United States share of the German [Page 417] navy was not considered as part of the reparations agreement. One ship is a torpedo boat with displacement of 1100 tons, built in 1939, operable and reported to be in good condition. The other vessel is a sailing training ship with auxiliary diesel engines, similar to that used by United States Coast Guard. It has a displacement of 1755 tons, an over-all length of 296 feet, and is reported to be in good condition. Because of certain technical and legal difficulties, the method of transfer, direct conveyance or sale at a nominal price, cannot at present be determined. Meanwhile, however, I would appreciate being informed if Your Excellency’s Government would accept either or both the aforementioned ships under such method of transfer as may be determined.”

The question of the manner of effecting transfer was not touched upon during my conversation with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and it is not my intention to broach this phase of the matter pending further instructions from the Department. I presume in view of Department’s Airgram A–482 of August 13, 1947,65 that the technical aspects of the problem will be handled by the Naval Mission directly with the Brazilian Ministry of Marine.

Respectfully yours,

David McKendree Key
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