711.5327/3–2245: Telegram

The Chargé in Portugal ( Crocker ) to the Secretary of State

630. Dr. Salazar has at length proffered the following approved draft in substitution for the present draft of article 2 of the proposed ATC agreement:

Translation from Portuguese: “Notwithstanding the stipulation in the existing agreement relative to the Santa Maria airport, which continues in full force, the Portuguese Government in view of the very special governmental character of the service entrusted to ATC which is the object of the present agreement, gives its consent during the life of the latter that the aircraft referred to in the preceding article which have to land in the Azores and are intended eventually (eventhalmefte) to form connections through Europe with the Orient may by special exception utilize that airport.”

Although we have endeavored during the past 5 days without success to obtain a simpler and more straightforward statement than the foregoing, we feel that it nevertheless meets our requirements and should be acceptable.

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The Department will note that during the life of the agreement (a) it eliminates the undesirable element of dependency upon Portuguese interpretation of the word “emergency”; (b) removes any question of limitation as to the use of Santa Maria for future movements to the Far East by ATC planes; and (c) places no restrictions in practice upon use of Santa Maria by ATC planes proceeding to and from Europe. (reDeptel 422, March 15, 4 p.m., 2d paragraph.25)

Sampayo was at great pains to explain that Dr. Salazar insisted upon including the words “eventually to form connections through Europe with the Orient” in order to furnish himself with a juridical basis however tenuous upon which to justify his cession to United States of the use of Santa Maria for ATC aircraft through Lisbon. This is, of course, illogical reasoning as the opening words of the draft substitution excepts the existing Santa Maria agreement from consideration in this connection. However, we feel there is nothing further to be gained by contesting this point and accordingly recommend its acceptance in this form. In discussing this point Sampayo observed that we were not bound by any undertaking with respect to when such service should be extended to the Orient.

Incidentally, I took occasion in talking with Sampayo today to reaffirm that the proposed ATC agreement was not to be considered as establishing any precedent in future discussions regarding commercial aviation. In fact, I remarked that I did not wish to conceal from him the fact that we would expect to discuss the use of Santa Maria in connection with a civil air agreement to which he replied frankly that this question was not a closed one.

Payne is reported to be ill and has not yet arrived.

  1. Not printed; the second paragraph instructed the Chargé not to conclude agreement until article 2 requesting limitation of traffic through Santa Maria was altered (811.248/3–1245).