795B.5/7–551: Telegram

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

top secret

27. Embtel 1750, June 29, 8 p. m.1 I had talk yesterday with Pres Vargas. He extended warm congratulations and good wishes for US and Amer people on Independence Day. I thanked him and expressed satisfaction declaration his Govt made June 30, Embtel 1, July 2.1 I said further I knew he fully conversant with various talks I had had with FonMin Neves Fontoura re mil situation Korea and importance my govt attached to Brazilian support and participation UN effort. I did not recapitulate my talks with FonMin but referred to close collaboration Brazil in two world wars and long history friendship and understanding as background our feeling this precious collaboration of Brazil was something very much needed now. I had impression Pres reaction these comments entirely friendly and understanding. He made reference to past collaboration between two countries and said Brazil had every desire support and stand by US in present emergency, and to implement fully her obligations to UN. He referred to note2 to be sent Secy Gen Lie3 in reply latter’s appeal for mil support Korea and commented note contained reaffirmation Brazil’s determination fulfill obligations she has assumed. Gen Góes Monteiro going US discuss manner Brazilian implementation those obligations.

Pres spoke of polit realities in Brazil, of necessity preparing and leading public opinion accept and support Brazilian mil participation abroad; moment not arrived when polit practicable make public declaration re Brazilian mil contingents overseas. He referred to internal conditions, particularly to insidious Commie propaganda and subversive activities and said they were causing him concern, that it is of primary importance govt have this situation under control and insure internal security of country. Gist his remarks this connection was internal security country wld have to come ahead of fon commitments. Pres not emphatic in speaking of any these matters but seemed to me his meaning was entirely clear.

I then told Pres of our concern re supply certain raw materials from Brazil and thanked him for his action our request re beryllium.4 Pres reaffirmed promises previously made that he wld do everything possible meet US defense needs raw materials. I mentioned urucum [Page 1204] manganese matter without going into details, for I knew he familiar with it, he stated delays were due to causes “of an internal character” relating to legal validity concessions made by state Matto Grosso which in all probability he said shld be by fed govt. He hoped have matter satisfactorily settled in about “two weeks”.

Re sobramil contract manganese urucum FonMin Neves Fontoura has told me in strict confidence that although legal impediment is reality, real core long delay is Pres Vargas objection to Chama Brothers. Their participation this undertaking not liked by Pres nor, according FonMin, by Brazilian mil and FonMin believes Chama Brothers will be put out. Pres Vargas made no mention this. Our opinion in Emb FonMin correct re Chama Brothers being source trouble. Not clear why this shld be if they have acquired legal right. That however as we see it here is entirely internal Brazilian matter no concern ours. FonMin sees no question any quarter as to Brazilian govt’s desire for US obtain this manganese nor any objection to US Steel as working agent.

No suggestion in Pres attitude nor in anything he said during interview that there anything but sympathetic understanding US, position Korean situation. He concerned mainly with what are polit and practical possibilities as he sees them for Brazilian action. His whole attitude was frank, friendly and interested in US. He seems preoccupied with two things: (1) econ development Brazil. He mentioned joint Brazilian US econ comm two or three times and said he extremely impatient for it get to work soonest. (2) Internal security country. Spread Commie propaganda and insidious activity its agents and leaders is increasing and causing him serious concern. He not satisfied with quality Brazilian police nor present measures to combat and contain Commie activity. Although he gave no impression being alarmed he apparently shares known concern of mil authorities re this situation.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. A copy of this note, dated July 3, 1951, is enclosed with despatch 43, from Rio de Janeiro, July 9, 1951, not printed (795B.5/7–951).
  4. Trygve Lie, Secretary-General of the United Nations.
  5. In telegram 5, from Rio de Janeiro, July 3, 1951, Ambassador Johnson informed the Secretary that the Brazilian Government had agreed to issue the necessary export licenses permitting the export of beryllium to the United States up to the 1,500 tons previously authorized by President Vargas, but not exported during the first six months of 1951. (411.329/7–351)