753.94/7–2145: Telegram

No. 1299
The Ambassador in Portugal (Baruch) to the Acting Secretary of State1
top secret
priority

1568. Military Attaché2 was received yesterday by Dr. Salazar at Salazar’s request in farewell visit in anticipation of Solborg’s impending [Page 1355]departure. During course of conversation which lasted forty minutes Salazar brought up question of Timor and Solborg received impression strengthening and confirming views expressed in my telegram 1246, June 9, noon,3 that Salazar continues to entertain primary concern over Portuguese participation reoccupation of Timor.

During the past several months, Dr. Salazar has conveyed his views on this question through Bianchi, through the British Ambassador here4 and through this mission, and time continues to pass with no response on the part of the CCS to these repeated intimations that plan agreed to for movement of Portuguese troops to Far East be submitted. Impression is growing upon us that we may expect to encounter delays, lack of sympathetic consideration and possibly even obstructionist tactics in matters of importance to us which are now and may be in the future under discussion between our two govts. We have in mind of course especially the pending civil air agreement upon which no visible progress has been made in nearly three months.

Even putting aside these practical considerations based upon the attainment of immediate objectives we feel that further delay in action responsive to Salazar’s wishes in the Timor matter may well raise question of good faith.

It is pertinent to recall that we obtained rights to Santa Maria only as a result of a bargain; Salazar’s price was (1) agreement in principle by US to participation of Portuguese troops in recovery of Timor and (2) undertaking by US to submit a plan implementing such principle, this plan to be presented by CCS as a result of and based upon information derived from staff talks with Portuguese conducted by General Chaney last November. Granted that no time limit was imposed upon period within which such plans should be submitted; nevertheless Salazar has made it abundantly clear that in his opinion that time has now arrived. We accordingly express the view for the Depts consideration that it is in the national interest that we should make good our part of the bargain without further delay (see Military Attaché’s telegram to War Dept No. 272.5[)]

Baruch
  1. The text of this message, in extenso, was received by Byrnes at Babelsberg as telegram No. Victory–in–445.
  2. Colonel Robert A. Solborg.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Sir Ronald H. Campbell.
  5. Document No. 1300.