148. Telegram 607/Secto 437 From the Consulate in Jerusalem to the Department of State1

For Sonnenfeldt from Borg/Adams. Subj: Portugal: Contingencies and Recommended Courses of Action (S/S 750446). Ref: Tosec 726.

1. The Secretary approved the actions in your memorandum as follows keyed to the respective subsections of paragraph 36:

(A) That he send Amb. Carlucci the guidance that appears at the end of this message. Approved as revised in paragraph 2 of this cable.

(B) Authorize Ambassador Bruce to begin high level discussions in NATO with the UK, FRG, and France, and perhaps also with Italy, Luns, and the PermRep Dean de Staercke. Before this, Hartman and Sonnenfeldt would call on respective Ambassadors and explain plan. Approved.

(C) Encourage European Socialist leaders, including the Swedes, to use their good offices to counsel moderation in Lisbon and warn of the consequences otherwise. Also raise this with Brandt during his visit here March 27. Disapproved. He added, quote, until I know what you have in mind. End quote.

(D) Make clear to Soviets soon, perhaps to Gromyko next week that they should refrain from meddling in Portugal. Disapproved. He wrote, quote, will decide then, end quote.

(E) Have the NSC initiate an urgent NSC repeat NSC study on the Azores, to include military alternatives. Approved. He wrote, quote, political and military significance, end quote.

(F) Begin immediate consultations with key Congressional leaders to appraise them of the Portuguese situation and to consider with them alternatives for U.S. policy in light of various contingencies. Approved.

[Page 509]

He deleted repeat deleted phrase quote: to stimulate public statements of concern. Unquote.

He further wrote quote: on a restricted basis. Show me proposal unquote.

2. Revisions in the letter to Ambassador Carlucci follow:

A. First paragraph: Quote we are all deeply concerned... unquote as opening sentence should replace quote I am deeply concerned unquote.

B. Paragraph G. Delete entire paragraph.

  1. Summary: The Consulate reported Kissinger’s decisions on the action memorandum on Portugal.

    Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, NSC Europe, Canada, and Ocean Affairs Staff Files, Box 17, Portugal 1975 (4) WH. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. In a March 21 message to Schmidt, Ford said that he shared Schmidt’s view that events in Portugal were a “top priority” for NATO action. (Ibid., Kissinger-Scowcroft West Wing Office Files, Box 35, West Germany (3)) On March 24, Kissinger told Ford: “I think Schmidt is wrong about telling a country how to compose its Cabinet. We are sending the Ambassadors in in a general sense.” Ford said, “There are some encouraging signs. These four in the Revolutionary Council.” Kissinger replied, “Soares had a rally today for 30,000. If we had mounted a campaign. . . .” [Ellipsis in original.] Ford asked, “Should we do it now?” Kissinger responded, “I would wait until the Cabinet thing sorts out, then if there is a chance, we should move.” (Memorandum of conversation, March 24; ibid., Memoranda of Conversation, Box 10)