Books of my shelves-Walford Selby-1


I wrote here about him. Sir Walford Harmood Montague Selby, British Ambassador in Portugal (1937-1940). In 1953 his memoirs, under the title Diplomatic Twilight, were published by John Murray. Pages 103-130 are about his mission in Lisbon. This Saturday with the book in my hands, I start quoting some of its relevant material.

-» «On the submission of Lord Halifax», HM, the King conferred on General Carmona «the universally respected Head of the Portuguese Sate» the G.C.B. «correspondingly deep gratification was felt in the British communities in Portugal» [104]

-» «I exercised strong pressure upon Dr. Salazar to prevent him placing his armaments contracts in German and Italy» [104], and «by the summer of the year 1939 [...] we had made no progress in our negotiations with Dr. Salazar» [105]

-» «In the commercial field there had been no improvement of any kind to assist us» [105] so Sir Alexander Roger, of the Anglo-Portuguese Telephone Company, «appeared in Lisbon in the spring and had submitted to Dr. Salazar a Memorandum which he affirmed would have the support of the Federation of British Industries», that «seemed to contemplate some kind of organisation of our commerce in England, which would provide us with resources to enable us to compete with the financial pressure of Germany» [105]

-» «Lord Stonehaven and Lord Davidson, who had visited me in Portugal, told me that they had made strong representations to Lord Halifax on this very point of German penetration» [105; Lord Stonehaven was Chairman of the Benguela Railway]

-» «I drafted three dispatches to take home with me covering the whole field of our relations with Portugal» [105], which were approved by Lord Halifax but implied seven weeks of discussions with the concerned departments of the British Government, evolving Mr. Hore-Belisha, Minister of War, Admiral Phillips, of the Admiralty, Sir Kingsley Wood, Secretary for Air, and at last Sir Alexanderr Cadogan [106-108];

-» As a result those instructions «seemed to satisfy Dr. Salazar» and «shorthly afterwards he awarded to Great Britain the valuable three million contract for the construction of the defences of Lisbon, and from that moment onward he exercised all his good offices in Madrid to assist the British Government in their relations with the Spanish Government» [108]

... to be continued....