The Minister in Portgual (Norweb) to the Secretary of State
[Received 10:46 p.m.]
1161. During the course of an extended interview with Salazar this afternoon he at last made it clear that his experts had submitted a negative report on the question of our request for radio aids to navigation [Page 22] in the Azores. I got the distinct impression that he felt our request could not stand on its own feet but served to cloak some ulterior motive. He said, for instance, that his experts were totally unconvinced that effective use could be made of the small angle which would result from the employment of even the most widely separated islands of the group and that he therefore could not fathom the reason underlying our request.
After some discussion he did, however, agree to hear further expert discussion of the matter and he was prepared either to send one or more experts to the United States to study the plan or to have one or more American experts come to Portugal to explain it more fully to his technicians.
In order to insure some control over the length of time involved, I accordingly recommend that an American expert or experts be sent to Lisbon at the earliest possible moment. Furthermore in the hope that this might be used as an opening wedge for beginning survey operations for the second airfield, the necessity for which Salazar said he still did not recognize, I suggest that these American experts be also thoroughly prepared to discuss the technical aspects of our needs for the second field, such as the inadequacy of Lagens field and extensions to handle the expected flow of traffic, the necessity of an alternate landing field in case of unfavorable weather conditions, et cetera. All these arguments have, of course, been advanced in previous discussions with Salazar but we must continue in our efforts to wear him down.
Salazar indicated that the Delgado Mission will have completed its work within the next 2 weeks; it would therefore appear to me desirable that our people arrive here prior to that time if possible.