158. Telegram From the Embassy in Portugal to the Department of State 1

471. Department pass Defense: USLO, SACLANT Noforn for Freeman, CINCLANT, COMUSFORAZ. Paris pass USCINCEUR for Wallner and Knight. Subject: Azores negotiations. Re Embtel 466.2 Long awaited opening of negotiations on political level took place with Cunha this afternoon. Following is summary of Port position.3

As Prime Minister informed me December 31 extension peace time facilities to coincide with duration North Atlantic Treaty not acceptable.

They will enter into new agreement for similar period as 1951 agreement, i.e. five years running to end of 1961 plus one year for evacuation.

Comment: I pointed out that their 5 year computation included 1957 which for all practical purposes was lost to US. Am hopeful they will eventually agree to 5 year period beginning January 1, 1958, but doubt if we can do better than that.

[3 paragraphs (½ page of source text) not declassified]

Finally Cunha reverted to problem caused by our encouragement of dependent peoples toward independence and stressed how harmful it would be if just after signing new Azores agreement with US, Portuguese were to be faced by some American statement or action which harmed their position in an overseas territory. He made it clear that he was not making this request a condition of signing new Azores agreement, said he would be grateful if we would consider what clarification or assurance we might be in position to give them.
[Page 472]

Comment: After some discussion I got impression this subject was merely being thrown in for good measure and for the record. No public statement will be necessary and I believe Cunha will be satisfied with a few general words about our recognition of our allies problems and our continued desire to take those problems into consideration to fullest possible extent. [5½ lines of source text not declassified]

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 711.56353B/4–857. Confidential. Repeated to Paris.
  2. Footnote [5 lines of text] not declassified.
  3. A detailed memorandum of this conversation was transmitted as an enclosure to despatch 537 from Lisbon, April 8. (Department of State, Central Files, 711.56353B/4–857)