840.51 FC 53/3–2648

Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Western. European Affairs ( Horsey ) to Mr. Stanley D. Metzger of the Office of the Legal Adviser

Here is the Note1 from the Portuguese Ambassador.2 I think it would be a good idea to bring the concern of the Portuguese Government to the attention of Treasury and of the Office of Alien Property.

I appreciate the connection of this problem with the question of marshalling concealed assets of ERP countries, which they need for their economic recovery, but I think that, as to blocked assets, Portugal presents a unique case. She does not need to marshal her private assets. Our political relations with Portugal are on a basis of intimate friendship and cooperation. The Portuguese Government on February 2 concluded an agreement with us, according us important facilities in the Azores for our military aircraft and I need hardly stress the political and strategic importance of maintaining this close relationship. I suggest the inclusion of appropriate parts of the following paragraph in your letter of transmittal; I believe this should go over by special messenger to the agencies today:

“The Department believes it to be of the highest importance to maintain the closest and most friendly relations with the Portuguese Government. As you know, an agreement was concluded with the Portuguese Government on February 2, 1948 giving our military aircraft important facilities in the Azores and we look forward to increasingly close cooperation with the Portuguese Government in this general field. The Department believes it to be of the highest importance that the Portuguese Government be given satisfaction in the matter of the treatment to be accorded its blocked assets in this country. The attached copy of a Note received by the Secretary of State from the Portuguese Ambassador indicates that uncertainty as to the manner in which blocked accounts are to be handled after June 1, 1948 is already having an adverse effect on normal Portuguese trade with the United States. The Department believes that it should be in a position to give to the Portuguese Government promptly renewed and specific assurances that the trade licenses now in effect will be continued in substantially the present form after that date.”

  1. Not printed.
  2. Pedro Teotónio Pereiro.