740.00119 P. W./8–1745: Telegram

The Ambassador in Portugal (Baruch) to the Secretary of State

1749. Mathias32 just called Crocker33 to FonOff and told him that he received the Jap Minister last night on behalf of Dr. Salazar.34 The Jap told him that Tokyo had just informed him that the Jap Military Commander at Timor was being instructed to restore the Portuguese Governor in Timor to complete authority, to hoist the Portuguese flag and to place himself and troops under the Governor’s orders for the purpose of maintaining order until such time as the troops could be withdrawn.

Mathias replied to him and is cabling Bianchi35 substantially as follows:

The information was interesting but under the circumstances now existing was meaningless, pointing out that the Portuguese had no confirmation that (a) the orders had been given (b) that they had been received and (c) or if received that they had been executed. Mathias further told Bianchi to inform the Dept that under the circumstances the Portuguese hoped that the Combined Chiefs of Staff would be willing to consider the departure of a Portuguese sloop with a small contingent of troops from Lourengo Marques yesterday as the first Portuguese step in fulfillment of the direct contribution toward the liberation of Timor envisaged in the Timor agreement.36

It is clear that Dr. Salazar’s present serious concern is to establish a juridical and moral basis upon which Portugal can seek invitation to participate in eventual Far Eastern settlement. This point of view was discussed at some length in an exposition made by Mathias to the British Chargé and Crocker late yesterday afternoon. Both the British Chargé and Crocker reserved comment and suggested that the presentation of this point of view be made through Palmella37 and Bianchi respectively.

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The essence of the Portuguese position appears to be that Dr. Salazar wishes to make the point that Portugal has done and is doing everything possible to fulfill its undertaking under the Timor agreement and that it is through no fault of her own that the departure of Portuguese troops to the Far East has not taken place before this.

  1. Marcello Mathias of the Portuguese Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
  2. Edward S. Crocker, Second Secretary of Embassy in Portugal.
  3. Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, President of the Portuguese Council of Ministers and Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  4. João Antonio de Bianchi, Portuguese Ambassador in the United States.
  5. For text of agreement between the United States and Portugal establishing form of indirect participation of Portugal in operations in the Pacific, signed at Lisbon, November 28, 1944, see Department of State, Treaties and Other International Acts Series No. 2338, or United States Treaties and Other International Agreements, vol. 2, (pt. 2), p. 2124. For documentation relating to the agreement, see Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. iv, pp. 1 ff.
  6. Duke of Palmella, Portuguese Ambassador in the United Kingdom.