711.329/4–1449: Telegram

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

top secret

278. Since Foreign Minister’s1 return from Paris (mytel 1124, October 152) I mentioned several times our desire to start negotiation for a new agreement on monazite to replace the one expired July 16.3 I asked Foreign Minister to resume study of matter so that steady progress, even if slow, might be made toward effecting a final agreement. Foreign Minister expressed entire willingness, reiterating impossibility under Brazilian constitution of a secret agreement. He understands and concurs in our objections to publicity. Foreign Minister assigned Ambassador Camillo de Oliveira4 to study practicable [Page 464]ways to meet this contradictory situation; yesterday Oliveira informed me that Foreign Minister has requested of the Ministry Agriculture a list of concessionaires with full information on background, nationalities, extent of their interest, etc. Ambassador Oliveira reiterated impossible to renew secret agreement under Brazilian constitution. They are endeavoring to work out a system whereby effective and absolute controls of all fissionable materials will remain in hands of Brazilian Government, to be effected by administrative methods through National Security Council. Oliveira was positive that this system would be effective in practice; said there is not slightest intention Brazilian Government to export these materials to country or consignee not mutually satisfactory to US and Brazilian Governments. He reaffirmed previous statements by Foreign Minister that pending negotiation of new agreement obligations of old agreement which expired July 16 are considered in full force (mytel 1124, October 15). They understand that our position on prices is open to negotiation. I suggested to Ambassador Oliveira that study be pursued steadily so that conditions necessary for negotiations toward new agreement might commence soon as possible. I said that although my government was satisfied with unequivocal assurances which had been given me by Foreign Minister it seemed desirable and in best interests of both our countries that definite agreement in some acceptable form be reached soonest.

In this connection following Embassy telegrams should be consulted: 419, April 13; 659, June 14; 696, June 23; 786, July 15; 790, July 16; 1124, October 15; all foregoing 1948.5 Statement of Foreign Minister reported in 419 was referred to by Oliveira.

  1. Dr. Raul Fernandes.
  2. Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. i, Part 2, p. 755.
  3. Reference is to the Memorandum of Agreement between the Governments of Brazil and the United States with respect to the control of monazite sands and other carriers of thorium and thorium compounds, signed in Rio de Janeiro, July 6, 1945; for text, see ibid., 1945, vol. ii, pp. 20 23.
  4. Antonio Camillo de Oliveira, Chief of the Political and Cultural Department, Brazilian Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
  5. For texts of telegrams 419, 786, and 1124, see Foreign Relations, 1949, vol. i, Part 2, pp. 706, 732, and 775. The other telegrams under reference are not printed.