The Secretary of State to the Minister in Portugal ( Fish )
253. Reference Department’s no. 210, April 18, 4 p.m.8 The Portuguese Minister9 today called at the Department and left a memorandum8 summarizing a statement published by the Portuguese Government referring to mutual accusations by belligerent Governments over the radio of aggressive intentions against territories belonging to others, declaring that the Portuguese Government has received no request or suggestion for the eventual use of any Portuguese ports, bases, coasts or islands by any belligerent Governments [Page 842] or by any other third power, and further stating that the Government has taken measures for the defense of the three island groups in the Atlantic not only as an assertion of sovereignty but also with the purpose of resisting any attack that might be directed against them, although the Government does not anticipate any such event. The published text of this statement adds that the Portuguese Government is in a position to state, in accordance with an expressed declaration by the Government of the United States, that Senator Pepper’s views and other similar ones in no way correspond to the feeling of complete respect for Portuguese sovereignty by the United States Government.
In reply to a question regarding the foregoing statement of the Portuguese Government at my press conference today, I emphasized that there is really nothing new in our friendly relations with Portugal. I added that it was, of course, well known that members of separate and independent branches of our Government state their individual views whenever they see fit but that such statements do not, of course, undertake to represent the views of this Government.
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