Miller Files, Lot 53 D 261

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Deputy Director of the Office of Regional American Affairs (Burrows)


Subject: Korean and Uniting for Peace Aid From Brazil

[Page 1205]
Participants: S—The Secretary
General Goes Monteiro, Chief of the General Staff of Brazilian Armed Forces
Mr. Mauricio Nabuco, Brazilian Ambassador
AR—Mr. Burrows

General Goes Monteiro presented his compliments and said that in connection with the business which brought him to Washington3 he was making his first formal call at the Department of State. He handed me a letter4 from the Brazilian Minister of Foreign Affairs, João Neves da Fontoura. I told General Goes Monteiro that on behalf of my Government I was happy to extend him a welcome to Washington.

General Goes Monteiro explained his mission as being in direct connection with his country’s interest in and desire to comply with its United Nations commitments and said that he was here to discuss with the proper authorities of the UN and of the Unified Command not only Brazil’s interest in compliance with Secretary General Trygve Lie’s June 22 request for additional troops in Korea and the Uniting for Peace Resolution,5 but also the best way in which Brazil might so strengthen her economic and military position as to make that help effective. I then mentioned to General Goes Monteiro my conversation with his Foreign Minister last April during the Fourth Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of American States with reference to the possibility of Brazil making troops available to the Unified Command in Korea, I said that when I had spoken to Dr. Neves da Fontoura at that time the fighting war in Korea was in a phase of great activity, that there had been some change in the status of the Korean situation since then and that there was now some possibility (but only a possibility) of an armistice, but there was still a need for troops and would be a continuing need whether or not an armistice was actually signed.

General Goes Monteiro discussed in some detail the Brazilian desire from the beginning to cooperate with the UN forces in the Korean affair, but described the difficulties which his country had faced in making such cooperation effective in terms of the contribution of fighting forces by reference to Brazil’s difficulties in transportation and communications facilities, as well as basic economic factors. He stressed in this the advantage which had been taken of these difficulties by the Communists and said that their propaganda had been a continuing factor which Brazil had been unable to ignore at any time. Now however, the General said, Brazil was ready to discuss with the UN and the Unified Command in Korea how best she could help, how [Page 1206] the obstacles still remaining in the path of effective Brazilian cooperation could best be overcome. He said that naturally in approaching this problem Brazil was anxious to talk first with her good friend and ally, the United States.

I responded by recalling that Foreign Minister Neves da Fontoura, in his conversation with me last April, had spoken of the difficulties presented by the domestic situation of Brazil and by Communist propaganda there and I said that the present situation in Korea, with the possibility for an armistice, has undoubtedly changed the circumstances in terms of Brazil’s domestic situation and has also undoubtedly made action of this kind (the sending of troops) less difficult to accomplish in the face of opposing propaganda. I also said that when I spoke to Dr. Neves da Fontoura I had been able to call to his attention the possibility of aid in terms of equipment and training which could be given Brazilian troops for Korea. I said that this was still true and that as a matter of fact, legislation now pending may soon make possible military aid of another kind. I said that we were gratified by the terms of General Goes Monteiro’s mission and that we would be only too happy to facilitate in any way the General’s conversations and mission here.

General Goes Monteiro asked whom he should see and I suggested that he might first see Assistant Secretary Miller,6 then General Bolté,7 Chairman of the Inter-American Defense Board, and perhaps Mr. Cabot8 of ISA. General Goes Monteiro said that he would follow my suggestion and would discuss his business with these gentlemen in all the detail necessary and desirable. I ended the conversation by speaking of my satisfaction that Brazil now has a great opportunity to continue the leadership in Latin America which it has always exercised and said that by a happy circumstance Brazil is in a position now to achieve at least three advantages by one action; she can increase her prestige, she can obtain special and very valuable training for some of her troops, and she has an opportunity to obtain some military equipment. I said that the United States would consider it a privilege to be able to cooperate with Brazil in achieving these ends.

  1. Files of Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs Edward G. Miller, Jr., for the years 1949–1953.
  2. Department of State files indicate that this conversation took place on August 2.
  3. Gen. Góes Monteiro was in the United States from late July to late October 1951.
  4. Not printed.
  5. For text, see Resolution 377 (V) of the General Assembly, November 30, 1950, in United Nations, Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifth Session, Supplement No. 20 (A/1775), pp. 10–12. For documentation on this subject, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. ii, pp. 371 ff.
  6. A memorandum of conversation between Mr. Miller, Gen. Góes Monteiro. and others, by Mr. Burrows, dated August 2, 1951, is filed under Department of State decimal file number 732.551/8–251.
  7. Lt, Gen. Charles L. Bolté; a memorandum of conversation between Gen. Bolté, Gen. Goes Monteiro, and others, by Lt. Daniel F. Resendes, dated August 6, 1951, is filed under decimal file number 732.5/8–951.
  8. Thomas D. Cabot, Director, International Security Affairs: a memorandum of conversation between Mr. Cabot, General Góes Monteiro, and others, by Mr. Kidder, dated August 13, 1951, is filed under decimal file number 732.00/8–1351.