348. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Portugal 0

621. For Ambassador from the Secretary. I have read Portuguese presentation to NAC this week and I have also received intelligence reports on developments in Angola. There is great concern here that Portuguese repression in Angola is even bloodier than has come to light. I am concerned that when details of true situation in Angola inevitably come to public attention this will greatly exacerbate situation for Portugal and for its friends in the world. We plan to discuss the situation privately with French and British and also to take it up in NAC. In meantime at your discretion you might inform Portuguese officials of our concern and of approach we plan for NAC. Could also be pointed out that GOP has not responded to our March 7 presentation, details of which could be repeated.1

We are also fearful that unless steps are taken and bloodshed stopped Soviets may develop increasing inclination send arms to Africa for distribution to Angolan underground. This will inevitably lead to increasingly brutal and widespread Portuguese retaliation. Tempo such developments may tend increase in Angola and that if measures are not taken very soon there may be little chance for orderly change to come about in that territory.

In discussing our concern with Portuguese officials you should indicate I hope also have serious talk with Mathias at forthcoming NATO meeting at Oslo.2

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 753N.00/4-2361. Secret. Drafted by Brown and Beigel on April 22; cleared by Fredericks, Collopy, and Kohler; and approved by Rusk.
  2. Telegram 471 to Lisbon, March 4. (Ibid., 753N.00/3-461)
  3. On April 25, Ambassador Elbrick reported that he had expressed the Secretary’s concern regarding Angolan developments to Secretary-General Norton De Mattos, who had told him that the Portuguese military was now in control of the situation. (Telegram 795 from Lisbon; ibid., 753N.00/4-2461)