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

No. 2697

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s A–462 of August 4, 1947, and to the Embassy’s telegram no. 1089 of August 12, 6 p.m.,96 regarding discriminatory treatment by the Brazilian Government in favor of Lloyd Brasileiro vessels in the ports of Rio de Janeiro and Santos.

The Embassy has been in close touch with American steamship [Page 435] agencies in Rio de Janeiro, and, as the Department is aware, representations have been made to various officials including the Minister of Transportation and Public Works.97 No improvement in the treatment accorded American vessels was noted as a result of these conversations, and during my call on President Dutra on August 12, I took occasion to discuss the entire question with him, using as an example the enclosed schedule98 which lists comparative dates of arrival in port and docking of two Moore-McCormack vessels and four vessels of Lloyd Brasileiro. The preferential treatment accorded the vessels of the latter line is obvious, and the President expressed himself as being astonished that the discrimination was so flagrant. He promised that he would take immediate steps to see that each vessel arriving in Brazilian ports would be accorded equal treatment, the priority arrangement presumably to be based upon the type of cargo carried and in no way to relate to the flag under which the vessel operated. I mentioned to the President the fact that the only other country practicing such discrimination was Argentina,99 and he stated that he certainly did not want Brazil placed in such a category.

I do not know that President Dutra has sufficient authority to correct this situation, even though the regulations under which the priorities have been established are executive rather than legislative. There will no doubt be strong opposition to removal of the priority in favor of Lloyd Brasileiro vessels, but I am certain that the President intends to put forth his best efforts to assure equitable treatment to United States flag vessels.

Any further developments that may take place affecting the situation in the ports of Rio de Janeiro and Santos will be communicated to the Department immediately.

Respectfully yours,

William D. Pawley
  1. Neither printed.
  2. Clovis Pestana.
  3. Not printed.
  4. See pp. 251 ff.