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141. Memorandum From the 40 Committee Executive Secretary (Ratliff) to the Deputy Secretary of Defense (Clements) and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Brown)1

SUBJECT

  • 40 Committee Proposal on Portugal

You approved a CIA 40 Committee proposal on Portugal last month. This paper did not reflect the recent change in government in Portugal, and State deferred action and asked for an update of the paper.

Attached is an updated version. Changes (other than those of an editorial nature) are bracketed in red. The first phase—largely intelligence collection which technically does not require 40 Committee approval—has been in progress. An addition to the earlier paper is the proposal to encourage moderate Western European parties to support Portuguese centrist parties. Also, because some European parties are already doing this [less than 1 line not declassified] in this revised paper a direct working relationship with [less than 1 line not declassified] has been dropped in favor of monitoring [less than 1 line not declassified] activities via contacts with the European parties which are in direct contact.

If the results of the first phase are favorable, and follow-on political actions are feasible and advisable, the implementation phase would begin to reach a climax in the first three months of 1975, prior to the scheduled March constituent assembly elections. Details will be submitted to the 40 Committee by the end of the year. The ultimate goal remains to minimize or neutralize a Communist role in any future Portuguese Government and ensure that the government is friendly to the U.S.

I will assume that your earlier affirmative vote stands, unless notified to the contrary.

Rob Roy Ratliff Executive Secretary
The 40 Committee
  1. Summary: Ratliff forwarded, with comments, an updated proposal for covert action in Portugal.

    Source: National Security Council Files, Ford Intelligence Files, Portugal—GRF. Secret; Eyes Only. Attached but not published is a November 18 memorandum prepared for the 40 Committee outlining a covert action program for Portugal; it is an updated version of Document 136.