368. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations0

168. For Ambassador Stevenson. Re Portuguese Territories. Following confirms your negotiating instructions after your meeting with President and Secretary:


General Objective

Our overall objective in the Security Council is to protect both our African and European interests. With this in mind, we should seek to satisfy the objectives of the moderate Africans in the Security Council while refraining from initiating or supporting a resolution of the character likely to cause Portugal to deny us the use of the Azores.

In our judgment course of action contained in this telegram is not likely to risk the loss of the Azores. It would attempt to preserve our position in Africa by giving the moderates something to take home, thereby helping to neutralize those who seek a militant and a violent solution rather than a peaceful one. It would decrease the opportunities for the Communists to exploit the situation to their own advantage.


Elements of An Eventual Resolution

US will clearly oppose expulsion Portugal from UN or mandatory sanction against Portugal. Subject to tactics below, you are authorized to participate in a consensus built around following basic elements:

A reaffirmation of our support for the timely exercise of self-determination in Portuguese territories;
A call upon Portuguese and certain African leaders to discuss how self-determination could be achieved within reasonable time and under certain UN guarantees as to timing and concrete sequence of steps;
A request that the Secretary-General designate a special representative (rapporteur) for the Portuguese territories. That representative should have a broad mandate to consult with all parties concerned, to facilitate such talks, to use his good offices, and to take steps to secure the cooperation of all parties concerned to achieve a peaceful solution;
A call upon all concerned (1) to cooperate with the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, (2) to refrain from providing Portugal with any arms for use in its overseas territories, and (3) otherwise to refrain from any acts which would make a peaceful solution more difficult.

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Objective is to get started a process of peaceful change, stimulated by an independent political negotiator. As you have recommended, we should insist on a single rapporteur, not a three-man Commission. As consultations proceed, please consider whether it would be useful to establish a time period during which rapporteur would be trying to get dialogue under way, with the idea that special restraint on arms supply or other non-peaceful acts in or around territories, might be exercised during such period.



While US should assist as necessary to bring about consensus along above lines, it is important that we not seem to be in a leadership position especially in those elements of package (notably arms embargo) that will be particularly offensive to Portuguese. Every effort should be made to get French, British, and some members of “middle group” (Norway, Brazil, Venezuela, Philippines) to take lead in developing consensus around moderate resolution that can be viable alternative to African starting position. Within this general framework, you have full tactical discretion on how much of our position to reveal, when, and to whom.

You will presumably be seeing Nogueira early in the process. You should discuss with him entire SC situation emphasizing our opposition to Chapter VII sanctions and expulsion which reflects our desire to be helpful to Portuguese, but also bring out frankly above difficulties which confront both Portugal and ourselves in SC. We should not, at this stage, become involved in discussion of possible resolution except to say we consider rapporteur proposal an important element thereof.


Participation by Non-Members of SC

Nogueira has decided to come to SC and we of course will support hearing Portuguese. If Slim’s views reflect present African position and Addis Ababa decision followed, we can expect that Tunisia, Sierra Leone, Madagascar and Liberia will ask to represent the Africans as interested parties. We believe that such procedure would be reasonable and that in addition, Chairman of Committee of Twenty-Four might appropriately be heard. We would hope that this limited participation would suffice, and would oppose expanding of hearings to include miscellaneous groups or individuals such as ICFTU and DG of ILO.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 10 PORT/UN. Confidential; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Cleveland and Sisco on July 18; cleared by Yost, Williams, Chayes, Burdett, McGeorge Bundy, and McKesson; and approved by Rusk. Repeated to Lisbon, London, Paris, Oslo, Rio de Janeiro, Caracas, Manila, Accra, Rabat, Lagos, Taipei, Dar-es-Salaam, Pretoria, Leopoldville, Tunis, Monrovia, and Tananarive.