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

628. Embtel 778.2 Salazar Guidance.

Department supports line of thought you conveyed to Fonmin on your return from Africa (Embtel 764)3 and recommends similar presentation to Salazar.

Believe you should also emphasize to him following two general points:

Basis for US policies: As shown by President’s response to Garin at April 8 presentation ceremony (texts pouched),4 US believes change fact of life in our era. Changes in Portuguese Africa as inevitable as elsewhere in world, though Portugal still has power to decide whether they will take place with her or against her. We believe failure to respond now to self-determination aspirations of Portuguese Africans will result in changes detrimental to interests of United States and West as well as to Portugal. This is why US continually urges Portugal in its own interest become champion of political changes which will take place in her territories and, being based on pragmatic principles, it is why US policies in respect this situation have not changed and should not be expected to change.
Self-determination declaration: US continues believe best thing Portugal could do on own behalf would be forthright statement accepting principle self-determination as defined December 11 SC res.5 Such statement, which would seem compatible with Portugal’s announced aims and programs in Africa, would take advantage of uniquely favorable but probably perishable opportunity offered by SC 5481. It quite possible this opportunity may no longer exist after next SC meeting, presumably in June. (Deptel 4446 contains additional arguments for use in your discretion.)
You should also tell Salazar US gratified at indications certain African leaders interested in further talks with Portugal. We plan emphasize with FonMin importance these conversations and our concern that there be no prior conditions attached to them. We hope Portugal will adopt constructive attitude toward such meetings.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 10 PORT. Confidential; Priority. Drafted by Barbour; cleared by Williams, Sisco, and Buffum; and approved by Burdett. Pouched to Luanda, Lourenco Marques, and USUN.
  2. Telegram 778 from Lisbon, April 10, reported that Anderson had requested a meeting with Salazar. (Ibid., POL 15-1 PORT)
  3. Telegram 764 from Lisbon, April 3, reported on Anderson’s talks with Noguiera on Portuguese Africa. Anderson visited Angola February 29-March 10, and Mozambique March 10-19, 1964.
  4. Not found.
  5. See footnote 3, Document 147.
  6. See footnote 2, Document 147.