Page 5, 15th October 1943

15th October 1943
Page 5
Page 5, 15th October 1943 — work to undermine the traditional itiendship, but Salazar himself made
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Organisations: United Nations
People: Salazar
Locations: Lisbon

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work to undermine the traditional itiendship, but Salazar himself made

it clear that he was suspicious of the democratic-socialist ideology for which the United Nations seemed to be standing arid hurt by their apparent inability to understand the origin and qualities of the new regime. He was also well aware of the Nazi power to take immediate revenge should Portugal take any step that could be construed as directly helpful to our cause, At the same time Salazar and the Portuguese people were never for a second in doubt about the true meaning to religion and political sanity Of the Nazi threat to the world. Most eloquent on this subject was the witness of the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon. Salazar's personal friend, NAZI THREAT RECEDES

However, times have changed, The Nazi threat was gradually receding. Fears about possible Allied intentions were removed. The Nazis had over

done their propaganda. The people becathe ever more openly pro-Ally. Economic conditions deteriorated and the future became ever more obviously linked with the fortunes of the maritime nations. It was in this rapidly changing atmosphere that negotiations for practical steps to implement the Alliance became possible.

One of the secondary effects of this new phase is bound to be a better sympathy in this country for Salazar himself and the corporative regime which he founded. Only this week a national daily wrote bitterly of them in a main article. We may expect more tact in

future. Consequent on this we may hope for a certain degree of caution in press and political opinion about Continental regimes. It will not be quite so easy to dismiss everything that does not correspond exactly with the wishes of the extreme I.eft as myptoFascism. The applicanon of this to Spain, bound so closely as she is to Portugal, is evident.

No doubt, too, there may be less suspicion of Papal and Catholic influence abroad. In this regard there are important misconceptions about Portugal. It is by no means a clerical State. It is a secular State with freedom of religion as jealously safe guarded as ire the democracies. And the relations between Portugal and the Church have been determined in a remarkable Concordat that may prove to be a model for other completely secular States the majority of whose inhabitants are Catholics and which desire the best of relations with the Church. This to-day is the Church's ideal rather than any " clericalism."

EFFECT ON EIRE A most interesting point is bound to come to the mind of many Catholics as a result of the new development. They will ask themselves whether Lire's neutrality will be affected ? Will it now be possible to negotiate the Allied use of the Irish ports ?

Despite the contrast between past historical relations in the two cases, there is indeed a very close similarity between the position of Portugal and of Eire to-day. There is the same majority sympathy fot our cause, the same removal of fear of German revenge for any active step, the same need for Allied bases and the same linking of future economic fortunes with the Allied cause. -And if Eire remains suspicious of Britain because of the past, there is tive opportunity of doing a deal with America.

It cannot be doubted that Eire will be greatly impressed by the arrangement, and it rosy be that skilful negotiations on our part conducted in a generous and tactful spirit would now result in arrangements which, important as they would be to us in the finishing off of the war, would be even more important in opening tip a happier chapter of mutual co-operation between Britain and Ireland.




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