811.2353/10: Telegram

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

861. Department’s 669 April 17. I should appreciate further clarification with respect to this instruction. As the Department is aware from my 116 January 21 the Portuguese are quite prepared to purchase aircraft of these categories and have actually made us an offer on those which we have here. Since the despatch of that telegram these conversations have been pursued through various phases details of which can be obtained through the War Department. I had assumed from the fact that my 116 January 20 [21], was never answered that the Department was not interested in learning further details of these negotiations from this mission.

I have no knowledge, of course, of the details of the recommendations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and if I were to approach the Portuguese authorities at this time I could only inform them that a general policy of this nature had been adopted and ask their views.

The reply would doubtless be that their readiness in principle to purchase such aircraft had been demonstrated by their recent offer to us but that their action in individual instances would naturally have to be governed by the sheer business terms they could obtain.