The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant) to the President and the Secretary of State
5051. Most secret for the President and the Secretary.
In talking with Eden today he brought up a matter which has previously [Page 610] been brought to the Department’s attention (my 4285 June 29, 10 p. in.1 and other message). I asked him to put this request in writing. He has just sent me the following letter:
“You will remember that on the 29th June I handed you a message for communication to President Roosevelt on the subject of Lifebelt .
In that message the hope was expressed that the President would authorize us to inform the Portuguese Government that in the event of a satisfactory agreement being reached the United States Government would be willing to associate themselves with the assurances already given by His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom. The Portuguese Government had asked specifically that we should approach the United States Government on this point.
The negotiations are now reaching a decisive stage and it is becoming urgently necessary for us to be able to inform the Portuguese Government that we are authorized by the United States Government to state that the latter associate themselves with the assurances already given by His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom concerning the maintenance of Portuguese sovereignty over all Portuguese colonies. I should be glad if you would let me know as soon as possible whether the United States Government are willing to authorize His Majesty’s Government to do this.”