811.34553B/5–2946: Telegram

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

top secret
us urgent

541. For Culbertson from Hickerson. It would be helpful to us to have answers to the questions which we communicated to you over the teletype Monday.36

It seems to us that the matter of working out the detailed provisions on the proposed exchange of notes is primarily a War Dept. matter. The Embassy at Lisbon should detail an officer to assist. Do you agree with us that you should return to Washington perhaps in the early part of next week. We believe that it would be useful for you to return and discuss the whole situation with us. Our present thought is that we should not resume negotiations perhaps for several months. Probably the next 90 days will be fully occupied with transitional arrangements under the new exchange of notes.

It is our hope that Portugal will be elected to membership in the UN in September. This should facilitate further discussions.

Searls37 has suggested that it might be well for you to propose to Salazar that he send someone to Washington to inform us more precisely of the kind of assurances which Portugal would wish in connection with long-term base agreement. What is your reaction to this suggestion?

[Page 995]

Our civil aviation boys urge that the following three points be taken care of in connection with the proposed exchange of notes.

  • “(1) The airport at Lagens shall be available to United States civil aircraft, which have the right to use the airfield at Santa Maria, as an alternate field in the event of adverse weather conditions;
  • (2) The civil aircraft of the United States shall receive most favored nation treatment at Santa Maria;
  • (3) United States civil aircraft, other than those covered by the bilateral air agreement, shall have the right to use the airport at Santa Maria for transit and non-traffic stop purposes.”
  1. May 27.
  2. Fred Searls, Jr., a special assistant to Secretary of State Byrnes.