7 SEPTEMBER 1951, Page 16

Freedom in Portugal

SIR,—I cannot confirm or deny " Observer's - observations on the regime in Portugal. I do know that Portugal is not a democracy. She is also a signatory of the Atlantic Pact, the parties to which express in the preamble their determination " to safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilisation of their peoples, founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty, and the rule of law." British and Allied foreign policy cannot be .successfully conducted on ideological lines, nor was an ideological qualification required for membership of a pact comprehended by Article 52 of the Charter of the United Nations, which is designed to be an all-embracing and not an ideological organisation. Nonsense was made of the text of the preanible by the inclusion of Portugal in the treaty, without a murmur from the British Socialist Government.

Socialists in general seem to adopt different attitudes to the three dictators, Franco, Tito and Salazar. „Franco evokes emotional hatred owing to the Civil War, whereas Tito is Left-Wing and Salazar is little known by the members of what' as, despite its international tradition, our most insular political party.—Your obedient servant,

14 Lennox Mews, S.W.I.