732.5 MSP/2–553:Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in Brazil 1


850. For Ambassador Johnson. FYI we are increasingly concerned at Brazil’s delay in ratifying Military Assistance Agreement. (1) Brazil’s participation of major importance to success whole Latin American program not only because of traditionally close defense ties with U.S., but also because role Brazil assumes under military plan means she will receive largest share U.S. assistance. (2) Unless existing appropriations are obligated before June 30, we have no assurance funds will be continued available for use during FY 1954. To obligate funds for program for Brazil by June 30 will require time. Defense indicates it cannot complete obligation procedure until Brazil has ratified. Even if ratification accomplished by early March, obligation by June 30 will be extremely difficult. (3) Defense anticipates that after Brazilian agreement ratified, Brazilian military will be approached with proposal for amendment to military plan under which Brazil would agree prepare additional AA battalion or battalions for hemispheric defense, for which U.S. would provide assistance. If Brazil should prove unwilling agree to accept expanded defense mission, agreement of another LA country may be sought. In either case, funds should be obligated by June 30 to assure their availability during fiscal year 1954.

Unless you perceive objection, you should discuss ratification problem with FonMin soonest, indicating reason our concern except (3) above.

Desire you discuss with General Beiderlinden2 advisability of approach by him to Brazilian military officials in best position to further ratification. In military conversations it would be desirable to indicate U.S. prepared start deliveries equipment at earliest date after ratification, within about ninety days.

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Reference (3) above, as separate undertaking, if considered advisable, General Beiderlinden being requested by separate message to ascertain from appropriate Brazilian military authorities, without making definite U.S. commitment, whether there is prospect Brazil after ratification would agree to amendment military plan under which Brazil would prepare additional AA battalion or battalions and U.S. would provide additional assistance.

If you and General Beiderlinden concur in above procedures proceed accordingly otherwise indicate soonest your reaction.

Furnish copy this message General Beiderlinden who will receive Defense message re this subject.

  1. Codrafted by Mr. Jamison and Mr. Spencer; cleared with the Office of the Special Assistant to the Secretary for Mutual Security Affairs, the Office of South American Affairs, the Department of Defense, and the Department of the Army.
  2. Maj. Gen. William A. Beiderlinden, Army Member, U.S. Section, Joint Brazil–United States Military Commission.