220 Cranborne to Commonwealth Government

Cablegram D1006 LONDON, 12 July 1944, 12.05 a.m.


My telegram of [6] [1]th July, D.984.

With the concurrence of the United States Government, His Majesty's Ambassador at Lisbon [2] and his U.S. Colleague [3] have now made joint approach to Dr. Salazar [4] on the lines proposed, suggesting that military conversations should be held in Lisbon by service experts under the direction of Dr. Salazar on the one hand, and United Kingdom and United States Ambassadors on the other, to discuss ways and means of Portuguese participation in eventual operation against Timor.

Dr. Salazar replied that he was ready and indeed anxious to open military conversations and agreed that those should take place in Lisbon. He was, however, still trying and would continue to try to get the Japanese out of Timor by agreement. He could not shut his eyes to the fact that Macao was held in forfeit. The population of this colony had now swollen to something approaching 400,000 people, the vast majority of whom were European including many British and Americans.

The war was going none too well in China and these people might soon be surrounded by Japanese as well as hostile Chinese. Their fate might be too awful to contemplate and it was a responsibility which could not be abandoned lightly.

Reports did not, however, encourage him to think that he would succeed in attempt to reach agreement with the Japanese. In any event preparation of plans and training of the Portuguese force would take time and it would be desirable to prepare for every contingency. He would therefore, at once, appoint a small delegation to take part in conversations and would let us know when this had been done.

1 Corrected from the copy in AA:A3195, 1944, Folder, Inwards Most Secret Master Sheets, from Secdomin, nos 33 to 29795, 1.25086/083.

2 Sir Ronald H. Campbell.

3 R. Henry Norweb.

4 Portuguese Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and, until 6 September, War Minister.

[AA:A989, E43-44/970/54]