740.00116 E.W./8–3044: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Portugal (Norweb)33

2457. Salazar’s statements concerning war criminals as reported in your 2677, August 30, 6 p.m., do not constitute satisfactory assurances from our point of view. Please renew your efforts to secure such assurances in whatever manner you deem best advised. You should stress the point that, regardless of juridical considerations, complications between Portugal and the United Nations will not arise if war criminals are not granted asylum in Portugal.

The Swedish Government has given us official assurances that it will not grant asylum to war criminals, has publicly announced that policy (which we understand includes deportation of war criminals who may slip into Sweden) and is drafting detailed directives and instructions to its officials who will be responsible for giving effect to that policy. The Swiss have informed us that they will be most “prudent” about granting asylum to such persons. We have instructed the Legation at Bern34 to make further representations with a view to securing more specific assurances, particularly to the effect that war criminals who may succeed in entering Switzerland illegally or clandestinely will be promptly deported. These representations are being based on the ground that the complications which the Swiss Government would wish to avoid through denying admission to war criminals would arise should war criminals who succeeded in entering the country without the permission of its Government be permitted to remain there. You should attempt to secure similar assurances from the Portuguese after, but only after, you have succeeded in obtaining more satisfactory assurances that the Portuguese Government would deny admission to such persons.

  1. Similar telegram to Spain as No. 2503, September 9, 6 p.m.
  2. Telegram 3101, September 8, 1944, 10 a.m., not printed.