I continue to quote from Sir Walford Selby memoirs, this time concerning negotiations with Portugal about Portuguese attitude in case of war.The book contains, as an appendix, a lecture given by the author, in April, 8, 1941 addressing to the Royal Empire Society, entitled Portugal - her policy and reactions to the war.
-» 1938, Munich crisis: «I was consulted by the Foreign Office on the drafting of a message to be sent to our ally Portugal» , stating «the desire of our Government would be that Portugal should remain neutral», message that was sent by Lord Halifax to Dr. Salazar.
-» Admiralty [Admiral Godfrey] point of you was instead that, although the matter had not been discussed by the Committee of Imperial Defence, Portugal, despite the Alliance in case of war should not be called to be «on our side», but they will count «on her "benevolent" neutrality» ; «in the succeeding months many misunderstandings were to arise between us and Portugal as regards the interpretation of Portuguese neutrality» ; «this particularly applied to our blockade measures<«, because the Portuguese considered them «an infringement not only of the Portuguese neutrality but of Portuguese sovereignty as well»  and Mr. King's, Commercial Secretary, after consultations in London, negotiations with Conde de Tovar, head of the Economic Section of the Portuguese Foreign Office «came to a deadlock» .
-» A personal message from Lord Halifax was sent to Dr. Salazar; he «returned a courteous but firm reply» [...] re-emphasised his goodwill, at the same time he insisted on the right of Portugal to interpret her neutrality as seemed best to her in the interested of preservation of her own security. On this point Dr. Salazar made clear that he must reserve his complement liberty of action» [111-112].
... to be continued...