259. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Brazil1

501. Embtel 684.2 Following statement prepared for Department Press Officer Briefing but not used as no questions posed.

“If queried about the Brazilian Embassy statement3 that Brazil has accepted a U.S. offer of arms in connection with the U.S. use of the missile tracking station on Fernando de Noronha Island, you may say as follows:

“The Governments of the United States and Brazil have been holding discussions pursuant to Article Six of the Guided Missiles Tracking Station Agreement of January 21, 1957.4 This provision called for an examination of the extent to which Brazilian responsibilities for hemisphere defense may have been increased by virtue of the establishment of the tracking station in Brazilian territory. This jointly operated tracking station, established on Brazil’s Fernando de Noronha Island, is manned by a small group of technicians. It is part of the link of such stations forming the U.S. tracking range from Cape Canaveral, Florida to Ascension Island, and is equipped to follow the flight of missiles fired over the range. As a result of these discussions, agreement in principle has been reached on mutually satisfactory adjustments in the level of military cooperation for hemisphere defense between the two countries, including the furnishing of certain arms, as provided in the Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement of 1952.”5

Embassy may reply any queries in sense foregoing. If pressed for data on type arms, quantities, or details types of cooperation involved Embassy should state security reasons preclude disclosure such information.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 711.56332/11–1458. Official Use Only. Drafted by Ingersoll and signed by William T. Briggs.
  2. In telegram 684 from Rio de Janeiro, November 14, Wallner requested any press releases or information on U.S. offer of arms in connection with U.S. establishment of a missile tracking station on Ferando de Noronha Island. (ibid.)
  3. Not further identified. In a note, November 6, to Secretary Dulles, Ambassador Peixoto agreed to the U.S. offer of military equipment but called for conversations to reevaluate the demands of continental defense. (ibid., 732.5–MSP/11–658)
  4. For text, see 8 UST 87.
  5. Reference is to the Military Assistance Agreement signed at Rio de Janeiro, March 15, 1952; for text, see 4 UST 170.