The Minister in Portugal ( Norweb ) to the Secretary of State
[Received March 16—12:32 a.m.]
798. For the Secretary and Matthews. Department’s 691, March 4.48 Tomlinson has arrived and we have discussed the matter of the formula for the United States naval squadron with Hopkinson. This formula differs from that mentioned in Department’s 669, March 3.48 Since it was tentatively agreed upon in London following conferences at which Winant, Campbell, Stark,49 Bromet50 and Tomlinson were present, we are proceeding on assumption that it supersedes first mentioned formula and has Department’s approval. We should like, however, to have specific instructions on this.
London formula is briefly that approach to Salazar should be along following lines:
- that under an Anglo-Portuguese agreement he had authorized certain operations in Azores under British Coastal Command;
- that the United States squadron in question will be simply a unit of British Coastal Command which directs operations both in United Kingdom and in Azores;
- that the United States squadrons are operating similarly as units of British Coastal Command in the United Kingdom; and
- that United States squadron will be transferred to Azores by British Coastal Command from European theater and not from the United States.
Above formula was adopted largely upon advice of Campbell who stated however that he wished to reserve right to reintroduce replacement formula as an alternative in event that he sensed that new approach was not being favorably received.
I am of course prepared to approach Salazar immediately along these lines without waiting for return of Campbell. I feel that I should point out however that in our opinion it would be wiser that the formula be presented to Salazar by British for obvious reasons. A careful review of history of our attempts to obtain Salazar’s acquiescence to presence of this squadron in the Azores will show that chief stumbling block has been his fears concerning its identity as an American squadron, fears which would only be increased by my taking initiative in presenting the formula. Chances of having it accepted would appear to be increased if British Ambassador were to present matter as a simple request for transfer to Azores of one of the American units of British Coastal Command.[Page 19]
Tomlinson informs me that according to his information Campbell expects to return to Lisbon this week; I am accordingly requesting Tomlinson to remain here until after Campbell’s return.