811.34553B/5–1546: Telegram

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

top secret
us urgent

428. Part one Deptel 486, May 14. For Hickerson from Culbertson. Our present draft reply to Salazar reiterates that in substance we want to obtain privileges and facilities similar to those provided for in present agreement and that in exchange we offer financial technical and other assistance in operation and development of a civil airport. However we are convinced that Salazar will be equally insistent on some so-called political hypothesis for any agreement no matter what its duration. There has been no suggestion in our discussions of a long (99 year) term agreement. We feel also that vague language may well serve Salazar’s purpose; note his own reference to language of present agreement. He may be satisfied with general statement such as suggested in Emtel 419, May 13, and for that reason we would still like your specific reaction to our suggestion.

We are working on getting a definite understanding as to operation after June 2. Mathias indicated to Crocker this morning that he thought there would be no difficulty in exchanging letters, providing for a month’s extension of present arrangement. After consultation with Salazar, Mathias will then give us a definite reply. [Culbertson.]