753D.00/8–1054: Telegram

No. 813
The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Portugal 1


40. London’s 726 repeated Lisbon 9 New Delhi 22.2 While question independent observers now academic in view Indian reaction3 Portuguese proposal Department today requested Portuguese Ambassador communicate following his Government:

US Government disturbed by several statements made by Portuguese Government on recent occasions through its Embassy Washington which have misled US Government in formulating its position in controversy involving Portuguese possessions India. Reference made specifically to Portuguese information that their note to GOI August 8 regarding proposal neutral commission would name UK and Belgium as two of three countries which had agreed serve as members Deptel 37 Lisbon 193 New Delhi repeated London 808 Paris 502.4 Subsequent information received Department has indicated these statements inaccurate and placed us in embarrassing position. While US Government intends follow its well-known policy favoring peaceful settlement international disputes it dependent on accurate information Portuguese actions and intentions in formulating responses to specific Portuguese requests and communicating them to both governments Portugal and India.
Department likewise disturbed by strong statements to American Ambassador by Portuguese Foreign Minister August 95 which not only indicate incomprehension US position on part Portuguese Government but make unfair comparison between what US willing do for Portugal and generous support other nations are said to have offered. US Government feels it has given expeditious and sympathetic consideration past Portuguese requests this matter [Page 1747] and that its present policy is one most likely induce peaceful settlement.

Ambassador requested convey above Foreign Minister and submit full report promptly.6

  1. Drafted by Rabenold and cleared with Murphy and Elbrick. Repeated to New Delhi and London.
  2. Dated Aug. 10, this telegram revealed that the Governments of the United Kingdom and Belgium had not, contrary to the assurances made by the Portuguese Embassy to the Department of State on Aug. 7 (reported in telegram 37 to Lisbon, Aug. 9; 753D.00/8–954), accepted the Portuguese proposal for a tripartite observer commission. (753D.00/8–1054)
  3. As reported in telegram 196 from New Delhi, Aug. 10, the Indian Government rejected the Portuguese proposal for an observer commission on the grounds that it was “unworkable and impractical.” (753D.00/8–1054)
  4. See footnote 2 above.
  5. Reference is to the statements contained in telegram 30 from Lisbon, Aug. 9, supra .
  6. As reported in telegram 36 from Lisbon, Aug. 13, Ambassador Guggenheim met with Cunha on Aug. 13 in compliance with these instructions. Guggenheim reported that Cunha was in a much friendlier mood than had been the case on Aug. 9, but that he denied having intentionally misled the U.S. Government as to the supposed British and Belgian acceptance of the observer commission proposal. (753D.00/8–1354)