The British Embassy to the Department of State


On December 23rd His Majesty’s Embassy communicated to the State Department an aide-mémoire35 in which it was stated that His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom considered that an invitation should be issued to the Portuguese Government to participate at an early date in staff conversations with representatives of His Majesty’s Governments in the United Kingdom and in the Commonwealth of Australia and of the United States Government to draw up a plan for Portuguese co-operation in the war against Japan.

Lord Halifax36 has received a fresh telegram from Mr. Eden37 pointing out that this question was originally raised with His Majesty’s [Page 12] Government by Dr. Salazar in June 1943 and that recent public references to the Timor position in Portugal appear to offer a good psychological moment for reopening conversations with Dr. Salazar. If there is a much longer delay in replying, Dr. Salazar may lose interest or alternatively secure better treatment by the Japanese for Timor. In either event the proposed conversations might be made more difficult. His Majesty’s Government also consider that an early reply to Dr. Salazar on this point should be of assistance in dealing with other existing problems, e.g. wolfram and the American Liberator Squadron which it is desired to send to the Azores.
In these circumstances His Majesty’s Government hope that the United States Government will be prepared to accept their proposal and will agree to the early despatch of the proposed invitation to the Portuguese Government.
  1. Not printed.
  2. British Ambassador in the United States.
  3. Anthony Eden, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.