852.00/2660

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

[Extracts]
No. 1006

Sir: In amplification of the final sentence in my telegram No. 15 of July 21, 11 A.M.,22 and in order to bring the matter up to date, I have the honor to report that, from the beginning of the Spanish revolution, there have been clear indications that the Portuguese Government has regarded the success of the revolutionary movement as a matter almost of life and death and that it has indicated in many ways a definitely benevolent attitude to the principles represented by the revolutionary cause.

Thus, for example, with the first news of the revolutionary disturbances, the censorship of the Press, already strict, redoubled its vigilance with the result that the various newspapers were not allowed to publish any news which might be construed favorably to the Madrid Government. Similarly, the Diario da Manhã, published by the Junta Nacional, the only authorized political organization, and thus generally regarded as the semi-official organ of the Government, has consistently charged the Madrid Government with being in the pay of Russian communists for the subversion of organized peace and security. The news broadcasted by the two large radio stations at Lisbon has been consistently favorable to the revolutionary forces and one of these radio stations, the “Radio-Club Portu-gues”, has in its broadcasts been even more sweeping in its denunciation of the Madrid government than the radio station operated by the revolting forces in Seville.

In addition to propaganda, there are also indications that the rebellious forces, with important headquarters at Salamanca and Seville, have also received substantial material assistance although of course the nature and degree of this assistance rest to a certain extent on rumors which are not always easy to verify.…

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It is well known that the Spanish Ambassador has made numerous protests regarding what he believes to be the unneutral attitude of Portugal in the present revolutionary crisis, but there are no indications that these protests have led to any substantial modification of policy. And it could not well be otherwise, for it is at once apparent that the establishment of a military dictatorship such as is now proposed for Spain would add immensely to the prestige of the Portuguese [Page 457]Government which is frankly established on similar principles; and on the other hand, it is almost universally recognized that a sweeping and overwhelming victory by the Madrid government would correspondingly weaken and embarrass the present government of Portugal.

Although the benevolent attitude of the Portuguese Government towards the revolutionary movement is thus entirely apparent, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has continued to recognize the official position of the Ambassador, Dr. Sanchez Albornoz, and has not yet announced the recognition of the revolutionary Junta under the presidency of General Cabanellas at Burgos.…

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Respectfully yours,

R. G. Caldwell
  1. Not printed; the final sentence stated “Portuguese official opinion favorable to the revolution.” (852.00/2182)