740.00119 EW/4–3047

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

No. 2186

The Chargé d’Affaires ad interim refers to the Department’s secret telegram No. 376 of April 9, 1947, and has the honor to enclose herewith [Page 495] the draft of a note prepared for submittal to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It has been considered desirable to prepare the note in draft form as some clarification may be required in connection with the statement to the effect that the United States cannot cede any part of its reparations and the indication that the Government of the United States is contemplating the cession of one large torpedo boat. The Embassy presumes that vessels received as the United States share of the German Navy are not to be considered as reparations and has so stated in the appended note.

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Draft Note From the American Embassy to the Brazilian Ministry for Foreign Affairs

The Embassy of the United States of America presents its compliments to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has the honor to refer to the Ministry’s note (DPC/DPO/48/949.4(00) dated January 31, 1947), the Embassy’s reply, Note No. 336 of February 11, 1947,98 and previous communications concerning the reparations which the Brazilian Government feels it can rightfully demand from Germany.

The Embassy has been instructed by the Department of State to point out that at the time that plans were being made for holding the Paris Separations Conference, it was recognized that nations which declared war against Germany would have an interest in obtaining reparations from Germany. It was also recognized that certain of these countries, particularly those which were overrun by Germany and those which had devoted a totality of their resources, human and material, to the waging of war, would have claims against Germany for reparations which would be so extensive as to prohibit anything approximating a reasonable satisfaction of such claims. It was also clear that certain countries could satisfy a comparatively large share of their claims against Germany out of German assets located within their borders. Countries in this latter situation, if invited to participate in the Paris Reparations Conference, would have been in a position of having to yield up certain of the German assets within their borders in order that the percentage of total satisfaction that they would realize would equal the percentage realized by other countries with considerably larger claims. This would have seriously interfered with the establishment of uniform procedures and mechanisms of reparations by the countries participating in the Conference, since it would have divided participants into those who would have to yield a certain proportion of assets within their borders and a second category [Page 496] of those who would have to obtain assets from other sources in addition to the German assets within their borders. It was therefore believed equitable and, from the point of view of formulating procedure, desirable not to ask Brazil to participate in a conference wherein she would lose rather than gain by such participation.

The Brazilian Government in an earlier note suggested that the Government of the United States might be able to devote part of its reparations share to the satisfaction of Brazil’s claims. Under the reparations agreement this is, unfortunately, not possible as the United States when it relinquished, prior to the formulation of shares, a portion of the shares of Category B assets to which it would have been entitled on a statistical basis, left itself no recourses to that part which it had sacrificed. Nor is the United States authorized to devote any part of the reparations which it obtains through the removal procedure to any nationals other than its own.

The attention of the Brazilian Government is invited to the current negotiations with reference to the possible sharing of the proceeds of German assets in the American Republics. The Department of State believes that such sharing will increase Brazil’s total receipts.

The Embassy has been instructed to stress to the Brazilian Government that the United States of America, for its part, has not forgotten the contributions which Brazil made during the war to the common cause. On the contrary as stated above the Government of Brazil was not invited to the Paris Reparations Conference in order, within the terms of the Mexico City Conference, to protect her interests and to assure her a greater satisfaction of her claims than she could others-wise secure.

Furthermore consideration is currently being given to the possibility of delivery to Brazil of one large torpedo boat from the United States share of the German Navy—a measure which may be feasible as the United States share of the German Navy was not considered as part of the reparations agreement. The vessel under consideration is approximately 1100 tons and is reported to be in excellent condition. The Department of State, however, has requested that the tentative nature of this possibility be emphasized.99

The Embassy takes this opportunity [etc.]

  1. Latter not printed.
  2. In telegram 598, June 9, 4 p.m., the Department indicated certain modifications of language in the draft and added to this offer of a torpedo boat, a sailing training ship with auxiliary diesel engines (740.00119 EW/4–3047).