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the United Nations, he had felt that the black Africans did recognize that the Portuguese were not racially conscious. The Ambassador said that Portugal was proud of her achievements in creating multiracial societies in Brazil, the African territories and Goa which had remained attached to Portugal despite a great propaganda campaign until India had sent in some 40,000 troops.

The Under Secretary said he believed that Portugal must work for better relations with the black African countries and that, with time and patience, much could be achieved. In concluding, he asked the Ambassador to convey his warm regards to the Portuguese Foreign Minister, Dr. Franco Nogueira, with whom he had served in Japan many years before.


Memorandum of Conversation?

Washington, April 19, 1969, 11:30 a.m.


US-Portuguese Relations


United States
The President
Mr. Henry A. Kissinger, Special Assistant to the President
Mr. Clement Conger, Deputy Chief of Protocol
Mr. George W. Landau, Country Director, Spain and Portugal
His Excellency Alberto Franco Nogueira, Foreign Minister of Portugal
His Excellency Vasco Vieira Garin, Ambassador of Portugal

The Portuguese Foreign Minister thanked the President for seeing him and for being so generous with his time at this moment when he faces so many complex and critical issues. Before launching into bilateral matters the Foreign Minister wanted to thank the President for addressing the NATO Council and explaining the ABM question in such a persuasive, convincing and lucid manner. Armed with this information

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL PORT-US. Secret; Exdis. Drafted by Landau and approved by the White House on April 22. According to the President's Daily Diary, the meeting was held in the Oval Office and ended at noon. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Central Files)

the Portuguese Foreign Minister said he would be able to explain to his government this problem which affects NATO and the whole world. The President said that the credibility of the U.S. deterrent is of course essential to NATO and the solution to the problem depends precisely on our credibility on this subject.

Turning to US/Portuguese relations the Foreign Minister said that it was no secret that these relations had not been very good after 1961 although he did not want to belabor this point. Now with new administrations in the U.S. and in Portugal the time had come to start a fruitful dialogue between both countries. Since 1961 there had been no true exchange of communications between the two governments and this was one of the reasons for the deterioration of relations. The President asked whether the view that there had been no useful communications between the two governments was generally shared by his government. The Foreign Minister assured him that the feeling in Lisbon was that the USG had not been interested in hearing the Portuguese view but he hoped all this was now over and that there existed a new climate. The Foreign Minister said he wanted to make two points.

1. He could assure the President that the Portuguese derived no pleasure or amusement out of bad relations with the U.S. and moreover he did not believe it would be in the U.S. interests to have bad relations with Portugal. Therefore as a first step to improving relations there should be a dialogue between the two countries.

2. As the President was certainly aware, the US/Portuguese difficulties arose in the context of Portugal's African policies. There were no problems in other areas as U.S. and Portuguese views on European matters and on the defense of the West largely coincided.

In regard to Africa, Portugal has followed a different policy than the rest of the world. But he wanted to assure the President that Portugal considered this policy vital. Moreover, it was not a personal policy of former Prime Minister Salazar who has now disappeared from the political arena. Portugal's African policy remains unchanged because it fulfills the needs and desires of the Portuguese people. This policy has been carried out for many years and is supported by the vast majority of the Portuguese. Finally, it was his view that Portugal's African policy does not run counter to the U.S. policy but that it is useful to the long-term aims of the U.S. in Africa. This point is important and needs to be discussed further and therefore we must have a dialogue. It was his feeling that in the past the U.S. view had been much affected by the general world position which was against Portugal and by UN doctrine. He said he did not want to use a harsh word but he thought the confrontation should end and the dialogue should start. The President said he did not at all object to the use of the word confrontation and that he was in favor of fair and tough negotiations. The President assured the Foreign Minister that his was a new administration with a completely open mind. He said he knew Mr. Landau who had been dealing with this area and Mr. Landau in turn clearly understood the President's views. The President said that we wanted the dialogue and that he did not want his administration to continue using doctrinaire views. There were a number of important questions to be discussed between the two countries. The President said his first concern were the U.S. allies in Europe because what they do is important to the U.S. He told the Foreign Minister that he could look to our Ambassador in Lisbon as a channel and we would look to their Ambassador in Washington to talk frankly with Mr. Landau and others or of course at any time with Mr. Kissinger. This was a new game and the U.S. wanted good hard-headed discussions, and good relations with Portugal. The President asked Mr. Landau whether the State Department had already started something in this respect. Mr. Landau said that the Secretary has set up a meeting for next week with the Assistant Secretaries for European, African and UN Affairs to discuss this matter. The President then asked Mr. Kissinger for any additional views.

Mr. Kissinger expressed appreciation for the important role Portugal has played in NATO. He said that in accordance with the President's wishes the National Security Council has ordered a study of the Southern African problem? and that he hoped this complex matter would come before the Security Council within the next two or three months.

In closing the Portuguese Foreign Minister said that he had found some of the policies of its NATO allies hard to understand because Portugal's allies in the West had placed an embargo on arms sales to Portuguese territories in Africa while at the same time Portugal had a standing offer from the Soviet bloc for arms of any kind and that the Czechs have been very actively offering arms sales to Portugal. Talking about Czechoslovakia the President said he noted with sadness how little public attention had been paid in the U.S. and in Europe when it became apparent that the last vestiges of freedom in Czechoslovakia had disappeared.

The President assured the Foreign Minister that Portugal would get an opportunity to state its case and that it would have a fair hearing

a from the U.S. He of course expected that Portugal would give the same fair hearing to U.S. views. Meantime we would work on our policy review and in closing he wanted to assure the Foreign Minister once more that he agreed with him on the importance of a good dialogue between the two countries.3

2 NSSM 39, Document 6.

3 In an April 22 memorandum Sonnenfeldt expressed his concerns to Kissinger regarding the bureaus in the Department of State conforming to Nixon's approach to Portugal: “I think it important that AF and IO take note of the President's remarks about our having a completely open mind and not using doctrinaire views.” Kissinger approved sending the memorandum to the Assistant Secretaries of European Affairs, African Affairs, and International Organization Affairs before a meeting on April 23. (Ibid., NSC Files, Box 701, Country Files, Europe, Portugal, Vol. I) Minutes of the meeting were not found.


Airgram From the Department of State to the Embassy in


Washington, January 9, 1970, 3:15 p.m.

Subject: Southern Africa. Ref: Lisbon 1663, 1749.2

1. If and when a suitable occasion arises, the Department hopes you will continue the exchange with Caetano on the future of Portuguese Africa. In future conversations, you may wish to draw on the following points which represent the Department's assessment of the current situation in southern Africa and particularly the attitudes of Zambia and Tanzania.

2. We believe the policies of Zambia and Tanzania, both militant African states, reflect several factors: fear and suspicion deeply rooted in their colonial experience that southern African whites represent a genuine danger to their security; frustration over intractable internal political and economic problems; and deep concern about forces at work in the region which they are unable to control. Men like Kaunda and Nyerere are indeed deeply committed to solidarity with the African majorities throughout southern Africa. At the same time they have constantly emphasized their belief in multiracial solutions in southern Africa.

1 Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 1 AFR. Confidential; Limdis. Drafted by Frank Crump, Mark Lore, and Everett Briggs on December 31, 1969; cleared in AF/E, AF/S, AF/C, AF, INR/RAF, and EUR/SPP; and approved by Tibbetts. Repeated to Dar es Salaam, Kinshasa, Lourenco Marques, Luanda, and Lusaka.

2 In telegram 1663 from Lisbon, August 15, 1969, Knight gave an overview of his initial conversation with Caetano. With regard to Portuguese Africa, Caetano remarked that if “various elements of population could cohabit peacefully—as they do in Brazil-he would favor independence for Angola and Mozambique in immediate future.” The Prime Minister did not believe that this was possible due to outside interference. (Ibid., Central Files 1967–69, POL PORT-US) Telegram 1749 from Lisbon was not found.

3. It is our feeling that the experience of the past decade, during which relations between most of the black and white-ruled states of southern Africa have steadily worsened, casts serious doubt upon Caetano's expectation that a "better time" will come while the Portuguese continue present policies. We realize that the future of this area is fraught with uncertainties and imponderables; nevertheless it seems most likely to us that the gulf between the black-ruled states and Portugal is likely to widen, in the absence of any attempt at reconciliation. Despite their internecine quarrels and Portuguese military superiority, the insurgent movements are active on more fronts and receive more Zambian and Tanzanian support now than at any time in the past. Completion of the Tan-Zam Railway will end Portuguese control over Zambia's access to the sea, removing a factor which has done much to moderate that country's policies up to now. From time to time, it is true that certain of the black-ruled states may make pragmatic policy adjustments which favor Portugal (e.g., the Congo (K) at present). In the absence of some kind of modus vivendi between the two sides, however, the long-term prospects for meaningful progress do not seem promising. The Portuguese may be able to continue to contain the rebellions, but the protracted conflict will continue to drain Portuguese and African resources and will contribute to a prolonged state of insecurity and tension in southern Africa.

4. Such a situation is in no one's interests. A continuation of the present climate cannot help but provide increased opportunities for communist influence. The current ability of the Portuguese to master the situation may conceal the extent to which other long-range factors (e.g., polarization of racial attitudes) will gradually undermine the Portuguese position in Angola and Mozambique.

5. We believe there are many in Zambia and Tanzania who are aware of these prospects for violence and are anxious to avoid them. The Lusaka Manifesto, largely a product of Zambian and Tanzanian initiative, appears to represent a genuine effort to find a peaceful way out, without abandoning the basic commitment to self-determination. The Manifesto, in which signatory states agree to urge cessation of guerrilla activities if the Portuguese accept the principle of self-determination, has now been formally and publicly endorsed by the African Chiefs of State at the September OAU meeting in Addis Ababa.? The Tanzanian and Zambian leaders have privately emphasized to us the importance of the Manifesto. Some have even expressed

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