2 Jul. 1940

Telegram nº 189 sent from the MNE to the Portuguese Minister in London on the problem of the increasing number of refugees arriving in Portugal: “The question of the foreign refugees in Portugal will easily become complicated and is already a serious problem, which cannot be allowed to get worse, despite all our good will. The entry of members of the Belgian and Luxembourg Governments was authorized with a prior declaration on arrival at the border that we were taking them in on an individual basis […] Political and intellectual refugees […] are among the least desirable on account of the activities they will want to carry out. Furthermore their number would require prior security and the possibility of immediate embarkation for another country, as our accommodation capacity is full. All visas granted in Bordeaux were done in strict contravention of express instructions from the MNE by a Consul whom I have already recalled”.

(AHD – Cipher, Collection of Telegrams sent London)
In documents: Aristides de Sousa Mendes