740.00112 European War 1939/7685: Telegram

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

99. My 96, January 19. In the course of a conversation which I had yesterday with the Secretary General of the Foreign Office6 the latter took occasion to bring up the subject of this note. It was evident that he had been instructed by Salazar to do this. He said that he wished to stress the seriousness of the views of the Portuguese Government on this subject. He added that unless the matter could be satisfactorily settled the entire commercial relations between the two countries might suffer serious damage and the conclusion of new agreements might be seriously complicated.

Since Butterworth7 is presumably now in Washington and can give information as to what took place in the discussions referred to by Salazar I shall not go into this matter here. There appears to be no written minutes of the discussions in question.

The present wolf ram agreement will soon terminate. If the negotiations for a new agreement are to be conducted in a favorable atmosphere and to a satisfactory conclusion the sharp displeasure evidenced by this note of Salazar should be promptly removed.

Otherwise, the serious consequences to which the Secretary General yesterday called my attention may readily follow. We have already begun to feel in practical ways the results of Dr. Salazar’s displeasure and it is evident that until a solution of this question is reached we shall get little satisfaction from the Portuguese authorities even in the current detailed problems of our trade relations.

  1. Teixeira de Sampayo.
  2. W. Walton Butterworth, First Secretary of Legation in Portugal, and Director General in charge of operations of the United States Commercial Company in Portugal and Spain.