740.00116 E.W./8–3044: Telegram

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

2518. ReDeptel 2457, September 8, 10 a.m. The question of asylum to war criminals was discussed September 11 with Mr. Bianchi41 who had been advised of your conversation with Dr. Salazar. Mr. Bianchi expressed doubt that his Government would permit admission of war criminals but stated that he would urge it to make a public statement to this effect. He stated that Dr. Salazar had in mind the concrete problem of what specific categories of persons we wished excluded. We cited to him the words of the Swedish Government’s announcement referring to persons “who by their actions have defied the conscience of the civilized world or betrayed their own countries” and the fact that a member of the Swiss Federal Council had cited Hitler, Himmler, Mussolini, Laval and members of his cabinet, and [Page 1426] members of the Gestapo, as examples of persons who would not be admitted to Switzerland. We emphasized to him that no complications with the United Nations would arise if such persons were refused admission or, if they succeeded in entering without permission, they were deported or made available for justice.

We advised him of the attitudes indicated by other neutral governments, of which you have been advised, and of the further assurance which has been given to Ambassador Hayes by the Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs that Spain would not provide asylum for Axis leaders.

  1. Joao Antonio de Bianchi, Portuguese Ambassador in the United States.