225. Memorandum Prepared by Director of Central Intelligence McCone1

MEMORANDUM OF DINNER [CONVERSATION] HELD ON EVENING OF APRIL 4, 1962, AT BRAZILIAN EMBASSY FOR PRESIDENT GOULART

In attendance were the President, Brazilian Ambassador Campos, Foreign Minister Francisco san Thiago Dantas, Former Brazilian Ambassador and now Minister of Finance Walther Moreira Salles, Secretary McNamara, Mr. John McCone, Ambassador Galbraith, Mr. Arthur Schlesinger, Mr. Richard Goodwin, Mr. Ted Sorensen, Mr. Walter Rostow, Mr. Ralph Dungan.

The meeting was informal. No serious general discussions took place. The atmosphere was very friendly and pleasant.

The following statements of significance were made to me.

1.

The Minister of State (Foreign Minister) desires to discuss with us some facets of the organization of an intelligence service. What seems to concern him is the establishment of Bloc Embassies in Rio, and later in Brazilia, and steps that he should take to protect Brazilian security. Minister Dantas is leaving today with President Goulart but will return from Mexico City on Wednesday, April 11, and will be in Washington through April 13, and desires an appointment with us to discuss the above question.

Action: Two or three qualified people should be selected to prepare a presentation and discussion with the Minister. Either Assistant Secretary Martin or Dick Goodwin should also be present.

2.

Dantas expressed concern over CIA. He said this concern is shared by most officials of Latin American countries and the root of concern was a feeling that the fundamental purpose of CIA was to create a worldwide secret police force strong enough to influence and affect countries in which they operated. I assured him that CIA had no such purpose but the intelligence apparatus of the Soviet Union definitely had such purpose in mind.

Action: In connection with the meeting mentioned above, a presentation should be made, to the extent possible, of the operations of the Soviet foreign intelligence apparatus, most particularly the evidences we have of its penetration in Brazil.

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3.

The Foreign Minister expressed concern over the forthcoming elections, indicating a wave of liberalism that could very possibly place in the House of Representatives and the Senate undesirable people. He expressed particular concern over the actions of Julio who he felt to be a dangerous character.

In this connection, Dantas stated that a considerable quantity of Czechoslovakian arms had been sent into Northeast Brazil by Castro. He had investigated because the original reports were that arms were “old muskets” and therefore not useable; however, he was now under the impression that they were very modern, effective light arms and this action by Castro, if true, concerned him greatly.

Action: We should discuss this matter further and then arrange through WH for a thorough and immediate verification.

4.

As an opposing point of view on the political situation, the Minister of Finance, Mr. Walther Moreira Salles (former Ambassador), felt there was a very strong “swing to the right” in Brazil and therefore in all probability a number of right wing representatives would probably be elected and this would be a bad thing for the country because, in his opinion, their presence in the government would be resented by the extremes on the left who would stir up the masses and cause great trouble.

5.

Neither Dantas nor Salles felt that the Communist Party was a strong influence in Brazil, that Brazil would ever succumb to Communism, that the free enterprise system would be preserved, and that such utilities as transportation facilities, etc., as might be nationalized, which would be a step necessary to their social and economic development, would be done on a proper reimbursable basis. Incidentally, it was stated that the takeover of IT&T was a result of a deadlock in the negotiations and not an arbitrary action on the part of the State.

Action: I believe the above and many other subjects of interest can be explored at the time of the meeting mentioned above.

Note: I would be happy to arrange a small stag dinner at my home for the Foreign Minister and the Ambassador, which should follow the conference mentioned above.2

John A. McCone3
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Job 80-B01285A, DCI/McCone Files, Memoranda to the Record. Secret. Drafted by McCone on April 5. Copies were sent to General Carter and to Helms, Earman, and Elder.
  2. No record of this meeting was found.
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.