811.20 Defense (M) Portugal/1437: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in Portugal (Norweb)

635. Following cable received from London:

“In reply to your 1483, February 18 [28] I called on Mr. Eden this afternoon. He has cabled following message to British Ambassador, Lisbon:

‘You should before your departure make it clear to the Portuguese Government, and if possible personally to Dr. Salazar, that you have been summoned home for consultation on wolfram as suggested in your letter to Mr. Roberts57 of February 18th, at the same time emphasizing the strong feeling here.

‘Despite arguments in your telegram 112, Arfar, you should also make it clear in whatever way you think best that we rely upon the Portuguese Government to maintain in practice a temporary embargo pending the further proposals you will put to them on your return. In this connection, please see Madrid telegram 322 showing that our prospects of achieving a practical embargo in Spain for the next 6 months are promising.

‘You should know that the U.S. Government are showing anxiety over the [Page 96] fact that the German agreement with the Portuguese Government terminates today. U. S. Ambassador has strongly represented to me the importance of maintaining a common front between our two governments and of your supporting the representations which, according to his information, your U. S. colleague has made to Dr. Salazar for temporary embargo.’

“The words ‘temporary embargo’ were not in your message but this was as much as I could get. I wanted agreement on complete embargo but the idea of a ‘temporary embargo’ was to cover U. S. until a final settlement was made.

“It was plain to me that the civil servant in the Foreign Office in charge of Portuguese affairs had failed to carry through the plan outlined by Mr. Eden to me and reported in the last paragraph of my cable 1591 of February 27.”58

Final paragraph London’s 1591 reported Eden had instructed Campbell to return to London to discuss wolfram and to sell Salazar he was returning for that purpose.

  1. C. H. Roberts of the British Foreign Office.
  2. Not printed.