57. Editorial Note

Restrictions on Protestant missionaries in Mozambique became a matter of some concern to the United States in 1956 and 1957. The Consulate General in Lourenco Marques reported in despatch 93, January 14, 1956, that the Portuguese authorities in Mozambique had imposed new restrictions on schools maintained by foreign missions, which, the Consulate General commented in despatch 105, January 28, could have profound political repercussions. (Department of State, Central Files, 853P.413/1–1456 and 853.413/1—2856, respectively) The Department of State instructed Consul General R. Smith Simpson to discuss informally with the Governor General the difficulties experienced by the Protestant missions in Mozambique. (Ibid., 253C.11/3–856) Simpson met with the Governor General on April 11; he reported in despatch 156, April 13, that the Governor General stated the government’s intention to close all Protestant mission schools. (Ibid., 253C.11/4–1356)

The Department observed in CA–10113 to Lisbon, May 29, 1957, that it had tried to deal with this problem at the local level, believing that informal discussions with the Portuguese authorities in Mozambique were preferable to other courses. While there had been some improvement with respect to religious freedom for Protestant missionaries, there had been no change with respect to the educational problem. It instructed the Embassy to make an informal approach to the Portuguese authorities concerning this problem but, in view of the current base negotiations with Portugal, left the timing of the approach to the Embassy. (Ibid., 853C.413/5–2957) The Embassy reported on August 1 that once other matters were out of the way, it would approach the Foreign Office informally. (Ibid., 853C.413/8–157) Further information on this subject is Ibid., in the files cited above and in files 753C.00 and 253C.00.