No. 352

Editorial Note

On January 5, the United States and Portugal signed a Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement similar to agreements on the same subject between the United States and other countries party to the North Atlantic Treaty.

The text of this agreement is in United States Treaties and Other International Agreements (UST), volume 2 (part 1), pages 438–452. For background documentation on the negotiations leading to this Agreement, see Foreign Relations, 1950, volume iii, pages 1540 ff.

In accordance with authorization granted in Article VI, paragraph 2 of the Agreement, a United States Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) was formally established in Portugal on February 2, 1951 under Acting Chief Colonel William G. Lee, Jr., USAF. (Note from the Embassy in Portugal to the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, February 2, Lisbon Embassy files, lot 59F95, “MDAP”)

On February 9, Secretary of Defense George C. Marshall informed Portuguese Minister of Defense Fernando de Santos Costa that the North Atlantic Ocean Regional Planning Group had determined that defense plans for the region had progressed to the point where discussions should begin between the Governments of Portugal and the United States concerning military operating requirements for the Azores. Marshall asked that military discussions between members of the Portuguese and American defense staffs begin at an early date. (Lisbon Embassy files, lot 59F94, “Azores Negotiations, 1951”) In telegram 279, February 13, the Secretary of State informed Ambassador MacVeagh in Portugal that a team of Department of Defense personnel led by Brigadier General James C. Smelser, USAF, would proceed to Lisbon via the Azores at the end of the month to begin negotiations. A Defense Agreement Between the United States and Portugal Respecting Use of Facilities in the Azores was signed at Lisbon on September 6. The text of this [Page 772] Agreement, is in 5 UST (part 3) 2263. Documentation on the negotiations leading to this Agreement is in Lisbon Embassy files, lot 59F94, “Azores Negotiations, 1951” and in file 711.56353B.