811.34553B/93: Telegram

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


614. For Secretary and Matthews. I saw Salazar today and had a long discussion with him about Azores bases, Far Eastern matters and wolfram situation in both Spain and Portugal.40

We reviewed major matters in controversy re Azores and Salazar agreed to telegraph to Portuguese delegation now surveying extension at Lagens to ascertain whether it would be possible for them to complete their work and join an American party, preferably under aegis [Page 14] of Panair to conduct a survey in matter of second base and aids to navigation. I believe that importance we attach to a second airfield, based on our need for Far Eastern theater, has now been made unmistakably clear to Salazar. In course of conversation when he queried why an answer had not been forthcoming re Portugal’s participation in liberation of Timor, I pointed out that such a reply was naturally not unconnected with action in matter of authorizing construction of a second airfield for American use since in our opinion this constituted greatest single contribution Portugal could make to liberation of Timor in particular and our operations in Far East in general. The end result was that Salazar said “I will try to do something positive for American Government” and he did not in this connection mention as on previous occasions the medium of Anglo-Portuguese Alliance.
Salazar indicated that Japanese Minister had this afternoon concluded an interview with him in which he had on behalf of Japanese Government authorized sending of a Portuguese official from Macao to Timor to investigate situation there. But Salazar added that he did not expect any constructive result to eventuate from this mission; that some 300 Portuguese had been able to make their way from Timor to Australia; and testimony of these escaped Portuguese gave irrefutable evidence of past and present conditions which prevailed in that territory.

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  1. For correspondence regarding wolfram situation in Portugal, see pp. 84 ff.; in Spain, see pp. 297 ff.