145. Telegram From the Embassy in Portugal to the Department of State1

274. Late yesterday afternoon I had my first meeting with Salazar.2 His attitude friendly throughout and he did not refer directly or indirectly to Goa or any differences between our two countries. In addition to asking number of questions concerning our political situation at home, he spoke at some length concerning Communist threat in different parts of world. In this connection he expressed belief that major war was unlikely, but that we would be faced for many years with persistent Communist efforts to subvert various areas. For the long pull he seemed particularly concerned over African continent and stated with great conviction that if Africa were lost Europe could not be defended even with all assistance which we might provide. His observations on this score were undoubtedly influenced by the potential disastrous effects on Portugal of the loss of Mozambique and Angola.

[Page 442]

Full memo of conversation pouched today.3

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 753.00/3–755. Confidential.
  2. Ambassador Bonbright presented his credentials on February 18.
  3. Transmitted to the Department of State as an enclosure to despatch 526 from Lisbon, March 17. (Department of State, Central Files, 753.13/3–1755)