811.20 Defense (M) Portugal/1150: Telegram

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

1435. The Portuguese reply35 to the aide-mémoire presented to Salazar on June 12 (Legation’s 1303) has now been received and its main points are as follows:

The Portuguese-German Agreement was entered into at the end of April for 1 year beginning February 1. It accords the Germans half of the pool. It contains no obligation to supply definite quantities but only a guarantee of export licenses up to 2100 tons covering the wolfram from the German mines and the pool. “The Portuguese Government is not so optimistic” as to believe that the Germans will get even 1800 tons as it calculates production from the German mines at 900 tons and half the pool at 600. (I might add that we estimate [Page 525] German mine production at about 600 tons and Castro Caldas also volunteered this figure. The difference, of course, is made up by smuggling neutral wolfram into German mines.[)]
“It is confirmed in a categorical manner that from the date of the first German agreement no mines of wolfram were or will be recognized as of German capital ownership beyond those which were thus recognized on that date”. The Portuguese Government asks that we supply the details regarding the 6 million escudo German mining concession which we will do forthwith.
With regard to the erroneous figures of wolfram exports for the first quarter of the year contained in the Portuguese bulletin of statistics, whereas the Portuguese figures for exports to Britain are still according to our calculations in error, those of Germany are given as January 0, February 217, March 370 tons. It is confirmed that the CRCM36 only issued export permits to Germany during that period for 587 tons.

Repeated to London.

  1. Portuguese memorandum dated June 29, 1943.
  2. Comissão Reguladora do Comércio de Metais.