File No. 763.72111/1572

The Minister in Portugal (Birch) to the Secretary of State

No. 69]

Sir: Referring to this Legation’s despatches No. 54, dated November 23, 1914,1 and No. 55, dated November 24, 1914,2 respectively, regarding the attitude of the Portuguese Government in the European conflict, I have the honor to inform the Department, by way of further confirmation of Portugal’s attitude, that I have been [Page 9] informed by Orey, Antunes & Co. that the Portuguese Government has contracted with them for two vessels to transport men, horses, guns and ammunition to Angola, which will sail from Lisbon on the 20th instant.

The military activity thus displayed as reported in this and former despatches plainly indicates that Portugal is virtually at war with Germany, although there has been no public official declaration to that effect. It is currently rumored here that this public declaration has not yet been made for the reason that the Portuguese Government lacks necessary funds to prosecute an extensive, vigorous military campaign, but is doing everything in its power under the present status to lend military aid to the Allies.

I have [etc.]

Thos. H. Birch