By a Special Correspondent
DR. SALAZAR'S broad cast speech on Monday night revealed no change in his attitude to his African provinces, and has disappointed those who expected a constructive development. Its main purpose may have been to unite the country behind him in the face of a common threat.
This has happened before. The "opposition" here are jealous guardians of "Portugal Overseas" as much as anyone else, and are still embittered by the U.N.'s disregard of the rape of Goa — a territory highly prosperous under the Portuguese and now faced with heavy tsatix1r.tionand an economic stand
It is not likely, at such a time as this, that anyone will make a flat-out attempt to unhinge Salazar, however restive they are at the slowness of the liberalising tempo. and the continuing arrests of political dissidents. The opposition is too fragmented and incoherent to do anything without the aid of extreme left wing elements, and few of the moderates would stand for this.
Considerable interest has been aroused by the CATHOLIC HERALD'S suggestion that the best of both worlds could be secured by establishing a Portuguese Commonwealth of autonomous nations. The multi-racial concept would be preserved, and the African peoples brought to adulthood at the same time.
Many Portuguese whites in Africa feel that they want to be, for instance. Angolans as well as —not instead of—Portuguese. They do not feel that they can go on indefinitely with all their affairs subject to direct control by Lisbon.
There is no ground for supposing that the educated Africans all want to break away from Lisbon either. but they do want some kind of identity of their own as Angolans or Mozambicans of a kind consistent with the general African landscape of today.
Recent changes in the Organic Law have opened the way to ultimately full participation by Africans in Government at all levels, and the African education programme—now rapidly developing —has some way to go before the real good of the people could be served by outright autonomy.
But Dr. Salazar could have won his enemies in Africa to a much more sympathetic point of view, if he had only indicated, with dates. a series of stages for political development. President Nyerere of Tanganyika has hinted at this already.
The Spanish grant of autonomy to two small African territories does not affect the alliance with Portugal. These are very small areas. already well advanced politically, and po doubt the matter was discussed, with accord. when Salazar and Franco met just before the Addis Ababa conference. Nor does Spain regard her overseas possession as "integrated" in herself in the Portuguese sense.
Meanwhile, in Portugal, living costs are rising: the army in Angola is very costly indeed; welfare services must be extended; and the development plans demand association with the Common Market. Portugal k working towards this, and meanwhile, foreign aid is coming in, though at high interest rates.
Industry is growing; German money is behind the Alentejo irrigation scheme and American money behind the Tagus bridge construction. It is a dogged struggle, but Portugal, though bloody, remains unbowed.