832.50 JTC/8–2448

The Secretary of State to the United States Co-Chairman of the Joint Brazil–United States Technical Commission (Abbink)

Sir: With reference to your appointment as Chairman of the United States Section and Co-Chairman of the Joint Brazil–United States Technical Commission which will begin its sessions within a short time at Rio de Janeiro, I shall greatly appreciate your communicating to the other members and staff of the United States Section, the position to be upheld during the work of the Commission.

This Commission has been established pursuant to conversations [Page 365] between President Truman and President Dutra of Brazil.1 It is understood that the work of the Commission will be conducted within the scope of the approved terms of reference which read as follows:

“The Joint Brazil–United States Technical Commission should endeavor to analyze the factors in Brazil which are tending to promote or to retard the economic development of Brazil. This might involve a broad appraisal of the manner, directions, and rates of development of the Brazilian economy, looking toward the most effective and balanced utilization of Brazilian resources. The Commission should give particular attention to the capacity of Brazil for economic expansion through the maximum use of its internal resources. The Commission shall not undertake to appraise the merits of specific projects or to evaluate the desirability of obtaining foreign financing. The Commission, however, should consider measures designed to encourage the flow of private capital to Brazil and where appropriate, may make broad recommendations relative to measures which might facilitate economic development in Brazil.

“The Commission should direct its attention toward an analysis of (1) Brazil’s natural and capital resources, (2) the supply of labor, particularly skilled labor, (3) problems of fiscal and banking fields, (4) problems of domestic and international trade, and (5) the position of Brazil in the world economy.”

Since this is an official Governmental Mission, the United States Section must of course act as a unit and present a solid front, expressing the views of the Government of the United States on issues before the Commission, rather than views of individuals or of organizations or groups with which they may be affiliated. As Chairman, you shall be responsible for such adherence. Any divergent views among the United States Section members should be resolved in private meetings of the Section, in order that embarrassing differences of opinion may not appear in open discussion. In the event of division among the members on such matters, your decision shall be final and binding on the United States Section.

However, this is not intended to bar the expression of personal views provided such views do not run counter to these instructions or to United States policy. In cases where there are no specific instructions or Section policy, personal views may be expressed, but they should be clearly qualified as personal.

You will appreciate, I am sure, that the members of the United States Section are not authorized to offer any written or oral statement which might be construed as committing this Government to a [Page 366] definite course of action or which might involve an obligation to expend Governmental funds not previously appropriated and allocated.

It is considered unlikely that any matters of a political or diplomatic character will arise at the meetings; however, should such questions be introduced, the United States Section should insist that discussions be limited to the questions under advisement, and, if necessary, appropriate instructions should be sought by telegraph.

You are authorized to delegate to an alternate all authority held by you in the event of your absence or inability to attend sessions of the Commission and in any other instances in which you are unable to exercise the functions of your position.

Upon the completion of the work of the Commission, you are requested to submit to the Secretary of State an official report covering the work of the United States Section with appropriate recommendations. This will be in addition to the joint report to be prepared by the Commission.

You and your colleagues undertake your responsibilities with the assurance of my keen interest and wholehearted support. I have every confidence in the individual ability of all members of the United States Section and in the capacity of the Section as a whole, under your able leadership, to reflect credit on the United States in this important undertaking.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Paul H. Nitze

Deputy to the Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs
  1. These conversations presumably took place in Brazil when President Truman was attending the closing meeting of the Inter-American Conference for the Maintenance of Continental Peace and Security in early September 1947.

    For previous documentation on the background of the technical commission, see Foreign Relations, 1947, vol. viii, pp. 441 ff.