The Times, 7 July 1932
The new Portuguese prime minister
From our own correspondent, Madrid, July 6
The recent cabinet crisis in Portugal was eagerly watched by the Liberal exiles in Spain for some sign of weakness in the dictatorship and for an indication of a wavering of the military support, which is its mainstay.
There appear to have been two causes for the crisis: first, the disapproval of the policy of the outgoing Home Minister, Colonel Lopes Mateus, by influential army officers; and, secondly, a division of opinion among the partisans of the dictatorship on the new draft constitution published on May 28, which has not been received as favourably as had been hoped by public opinion.
This division of opinion would seem to bar the easy path for a re-establishment of a constitution as proposed by plebiscite, and it will be the task of the new Prime Minister, Dr A. de Oliveira Salazar, the veteran figure of the dictatorship, who has survived six years of cabinet reorganizations as Minister of Finance, to find a way out of what seemed to be a blind alley.
Army support has been solidly behind Dr Salazar's able reforms, and his final emergence as Prime Minister is reassuring for those who place their faith in the army as a mainstay of government and correspondingly disappointing for the exiled Liberals.
Strong clerical opinions are attributed to Dr Salazar, who is called a Jesuit by his enemies, among whom are the once all-powerful Democrats; but during his term of office in the Department of Finance Dr Salazar has confined his action to technical questions, though in his new position he will be called upon to deal with political problems and policy.
The main patriotic purpose of the army in setting up the dictatorship was to put an end to loose administration and secure reforms. This programme has been in great part fulfilled, but now the moment has come when constitutional methods must be considered again. It is through a split in military unity therefore that the old political parties hope to regain power in Portugal.
Source: The Times (London), 7 July 1932