202. Memorandum for the Record1


  • Meeting at the White House 1 April 1964
  • Subject—Brazil
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  • The President
  • State Department: Secretary Rusk, Under Secretary Ball, Deputy Under Secretary Johnson, and Mr. Ralph Burton
  • Defense Department: Secretary McNamara, Deputy Secretary Vance, General Taylor and General O’Meara
  • White House Staff: Messrs. Bundy, Dungan, Moyers, and Reedy
  • CIA: The Director, Colonel King and Mr. FitzGerald
The meeting commenced with a briefing on the latest intelligence reports by Colonel King including items from the 10 o’clock telecon between State and Ambassador Gordon.2 Matters seemed to be more favorable to the insurgents than they had been the previous evening, particularly in view of indications that General Kruel is moving Second Army troops to the Sao Paulo border.
Secretary Rusk said that Ambassador Gordon was not advocating U.S. support at this time. Only the Paulistas had requested such aid and this without definition. Ambassador Gordon, with whom the Secretary agreed, believes that it would be wrong at this stage to give Goulart an anti-Yankee banner.
Secretary Rusk referred to a “leak” the evening before regarding the movement of a Naval task force to the area of northern Brazil. (General Taylor said that there was not actually a leak but that it appeared to be a deduction by newsmen based on knowledge that a special meeting of the Joint Chiefs took place.) It was agreed that newspaper queries concerning the Naval movement would be treated routinely and that it would not be shown as a contingency move having to do with Brazil.
Secretary Rusk commented that the reporting from Brazil was excellent and endorsed the statement of facts presented by Colonel King.
Secretary McNamara reported on the status of the task force. It sailed this morning and would be in the vicinity of Santos by the 11th of April. The arms and ammunition are now being assembled for airlift in New Jersey and the airlift would take 16 hours from the time of decision. As to POL, the earliest Navy tanker, diverted from the Aruba area, would be in place on the 10th or 11th of April. There is, however, a Norwegian tanker chartered by Esso in the South Atlantic loaded with the necessary motor and aviation gasoline. It is headed for Buenos Aires and should arrive there on the 5th or 6th of April. It was decided that [3 lines of source text not declassified]. This should be done as soon as possible.
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(Messrs. Bundy and Dungan, following the meeting, said that they had taken exception to the Navy’s order to its task force which had placed the movement clearly within the contingency plan for Brazil. They felt that this was an unnecessary security hazard.)

Deputy Chief, WH (Special Affairs)
  1. Source: National Security Council, 303 Committee Files, Subject Files, Brazil. Secret. Drafted by FitzGerald. The time of the meeting is taken from the President’s Daily Diary. (Johnson Library) FitzGerald also drafted a longer version of the memorandum, which included the discussion of Panama and Cuba. (Central Intelligence Agency, DCI (McCone) Files, Job 80–B01285A, Meetings with the President, 1 Jan–30 Apr 64)
  2. Document 201.