The circumstances concerning the failure of John of Gaunt to bring his promised military aid to King Fernando I and the consequent humiliation forced on Portugal by Castile through the Peace Treaty signed at Santarém in March 1373 are fully described in my letter ( which you kindly published in March .

One should also remember that, during those 650 years, Portugal was on several occasions neither a friend nor an ally of England. In 1588 it was a Portuguese squadron of ten galleons and two zabras which led the doomed Spanish Armada out of Lisbon for the invasion of England. During the second half of the 19th century Portugal came to the brink of war several times because of British Imperial encroachment of its colonies in Southern Africa and in 1940 export licences for the vital war material of wolfram were given exclusively to Nazi Germany.

Portuguese people have consistently extended the hand of friendship to the British but this estimable international relationship should not be held to ransom by elitist, political and corporate machinations.

by email Roberto Cavaleiro, Tomar