369. Memorandum From William H. Brubeck of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)0

In light of the President’s concern of the possible effect of the Azores issue on ratification of a test ban treaty, I think we may need to review by the first of the week the bidding on the Security Council debate on the Portuguese territories.

Although Ambassador Stevenson has followed the President’s guidance with great skill, we seem to be unavoidably in a rather conspicuous position in the development of a compromise Security Council position. At the same time the Portuguese are suffering some blows which, rightly or wrongly, are likely to aggravate them against us:

They were expelled on July 23 from the Economic Commission for Africa in Geneva and feel that we were partly responsible (see attached State Department memorandum).1
We are today turning down their request for transfer of T-33’s and F-86’s to Portuguese Guinea.
To avoid embarrassment on an arms embargo resolution, we may find it necessary in the next few days explicitly to repudiate our 1951 “understanding” with the Portuguese on the use of US-supplied arms in the colonies.

Depending on the course of negotiations in New York in the next couple of days, therefore, I propose to explore again on Monday2 the risk to the Azores involved in our current posture, in anticipation of a Security Council vote on the Portuguese territories issue by the middle of next week.3

Bill Brubeck4
  1. Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Brubeck Series, Portuguese Africa. Secret.
  2. Not attached or further identified.
  3. July 29.
  4. On July 26, Ambassador Stevenson told the U.N. Security Council that the two essentials were to facilitate a meaningful dialogue between the Government of Portugal and appropriate African leaders, and to make sure that they talked about the right things, including the means of exercising self-determination. Thus, the United States found the draft resolution unacceptable, since some of its language seemed certain to inhibit such a dialogue. It also could not agree that a threat to the peace already existed. For text of Stevenson’s remarks, see Department of State Bulletin, August 19, 1963, pp. 303-307.
  5. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.