Atomic Energy Files, Lot 57 D 688

The Ambassador in Brazil (Johnson) to the Brazilian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (Neves da Fontoura)


No. 224

Excellency: I have the honor to refer to a meeting in Washington on April 11, 1951,1 of Your Excellency and Ambassador Nabuco2 with the Chairman and Members of the Atomic Energy Commission of the United States at which, I am informed, there took place a general discussion of the need of the Government of the United States to expand its production of atomic weapons for the defense of the Western Hemisphere and the free world.

To do this increased supplies of uranium are necessary and the Atomic Energy Commission believes that some uranium might be found in Brazil if a wide-spread exploratory program could be carried out. The Chairman of the Commission stated that if the Government of Brazil looked sympathetically on such a program, the United States Commission would be glad to assist in several ways. These included the furnishing of geologists to inform Brazilian personnel in the procedures of exploring for uranium ores, and making available instruments which are useful in detecting radioactive ores. Other kinds of technical cooperation between our two Governments would also be feasible.

I am informed that Your Excellency stated that the Government of Brazil desired in every way to cooperate in the common defense program and indicated your belief that the Government of Brazil would wish to give consideration to the proposal. I am also informed that Your Excellency suggested the usefulness of having representatives of the Atomic Energy Commission come to Rio de Janeiro for discussion of the proposed exploration program in more detail with Brazilian authorities, it being understood that such discussions should be kept on a strictly confidential basis. The Secretary of State on May 1, 1951, transmitted to the Embassy of Brazil in Washington an Aide-Mémoire3 summarizing the decisions reached at the April 11 meeting.

I have had the pleasure of discussing this question with Your Excellency on various occasions, particularly on July 12, 1951, on which date I was informed that pertinent instructions had been sent to the Brazilian Embassy in Washington. Shortly thereafter the Department [Page 784] of State received from the Embassy of Brazil Note No. 330/692.01(22) dated July 18, 1951,4 stating that the Government of Brazil deems it advisable that representatives of the Atomic Energy Commission of the United States, as well as representatives of the United States Geological Survey, come to Brazil.

I have now been informed by the Department of State that officials of the Government of the United States are planning to arrive in Rio de Janeiro on November 2, 1951, on Pan American Flight No. 201. The officials in question are as follows:

  • Mr. Gordon Dean, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission Mr. Everett Hollis of the Commission
  • Mr. John A. Hall of the Commission
  • Mr. Rafford Faulkner of the Commission
  • Mr. William D. Johnston, Jr. of the United States Geological Survey

Messrs. Faulkner and Johnston have technical backgrounds.

It is the desire of Mr. Dean and his group that I make arrangements for the initiation of discussions with the appropriate officials of the Government of Brazil starting November 5, 1951. It is the hope of Mr. Dean that discussions in Rio de Janeiro can be concluded within one week and that the results can be embodied in a memorandum of understanding which would be acceptable to our two Governments.

It would be greatly appreciated if Your Excellency could inform me whether the date of November 5 is acceptable for the opening of these discussions, and the names of the officials of the Government of Brazil with whom Mr. Dean and his colleagues should meet.

My Government fully shares Your Excellency’s view that publicity should be avoided regarding the visit of Mr. Dean and his group and that the discussions in which they hope to engage should be kept strictly confidential.

Accept [etc.]

Herschel V. Johnson
  1. Neves da Fontoura had been in Washington in April to participate in the Fourth Meeting of Consultation of the Foreign Ministers of the American Republics. For documentation on that conference, see vol. ii, pp. 925 ff.
  2. Mauricio Nabuco, Brazilian Ambassador in the United States.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Not printed.