The American Minister in Portugal (Norweb) to the Portuguese Minister for Foreign Affairs (Salazar)31

No. 57

Excellency: I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that, according to information just received, an American ship with working parties and material is due to arrive at Terceira during the coming week-end, and that another is due during the week of February 7–13. The groups brought by these ships will be similar to those already landed, consisting of construction, maintenance, and similar personnel needed if the program of construction is to be carried out as expeditiously as possible. They will be immediately used for speedy development of facilities on terrain already allotted for use of the British Air Force.

In accordance with my agreement with Your Excellency, I am communicating this information with the request that it be brought to the attention of the authorities at Terceira, as you were good enough to do in the last instance.

As already indicated in our earlier discussions regarding the program of construction in all its phases, even when Lagens field is fully developed it will not be able to take care of anything like the full flow of aircraft to the Far East. A further factor is the need of an additional field for an alternative landing place in case of bad weather. Because of unfavorable conditions at Lagens, numerous accidents have already occurred with loss of life.

It is, therefore, the earnest hope of my Government that Your Excellency will give earliest possible consideration to the proposal for [Page 10] a survey to determine the possibility of developing an alternative field, together with the sites for the additional radio navigational aids whose importance I have already indicated to you.

With the renewed assurances [etc.]

R. Henry Norweb
  1. Copy transmitted to the Department in despatch 154, January 26, from Lisbon; received February 3.