165. Letter from Foreign Minister Nogueira to the Ambassador to Portugal (Anderson)1

My dear George:

It will be recalled that during our conversation on September 2,2 the Ambassador outlined to me the terms of a proposal related to the Portuguese Overseas in which, among other aspects, the possibility of a plebiscite was mentioned. It will also be remembered that for my part, when I commented then on the idea, I said that from the Afro-Asian point of view a plebiscite would only be valid and acceptable if Portugal were to satisfy the following conditions: withdrawal of all the armed and police forces whose presence in the territories would certainly be taken as an obstacle to the freedom of the voter; authorization for the entry into the territories of those whom the UN and the Africans might consider to be the “chiefs” who represent the populations, and therefore a prior amnesty would be required; and lastly, since the UN requires a “democratic process”, political debate would have to be permitted and even stimulated, and in this matter there would be imposed a complete freedom of political parties, headed by the “chiefs” referred to above, and inspired by any and all foreign governments.

I recall the preceding because the Senegalese delegation at the last conference of Plenipotentiaries of the International Telecommunications Union, which took place in Montreaux,3 presented a resolution on the 15th of this month in which it practically repeated what I had said in our conversation on the 2nd. I enclose a copy of the pertinent passages containing the “conditions” which Senegal wishes Portugal to obey.

The coincidence is revealing and very significant, and full of implications.

With hearty best wishes and most affectionate compliments.

(A. Franco Nogueira)4
[Page 337]


Immediate recognition of the right of the peoples of the territories under its domination to self-determination and independence;
Immediate cessation of all acts of repression and withdrawal of all the military and other forces at present employed for the purpose;
Promulgation of an unconditional political amnesty and establishment of conditions which will permit the free functioning of political parties;
Negotiations on the basis of recognition of the right to self-determination through the authentic representatives of the nationalist fighting forces of the territories, in order to transfer power to freely elected political institutions representative of the people of the territories.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 10 PORT. Confidential; Personal. Transmitted to the Department of State as enclosure 2 to airgram A-131 from Lisbon, October 6.
  2. See Document 163.
  3. September 14-November 12, 1965.
  4. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.