Question on Portuguese maritime law under 'Estado Novo'

May 2019
76
Earth
#1
During the 'Estado Novo' era, what sort of regulations did Portugal have regarding the crewing and leasing of Portuguese-flagged mercantile ships? For example, did officers aboard Portuguese-flagged vessels have to be Portuguese nationals? Were there limits on the percentage of foreign seamen among the crews of merchant ships? Could Portuguese-flagged ships be leased to foreign nationals under the tramp trade?

I'd really appreciate any information on this topic, especially concerning these sorts of regulations during the Second World War. Portugal (and Portuguese flagged ships) were neutral at that time, thus their flag at sea would have carried certain value.
 
May 2019
76
Earth
#3
Puzzling question!
Certain countries in the period (and indeed still today) had regulations concerning the crewing and leasing of their mercantile vessels by foreigners. For example, the Jones Act in the USA stipulated that coastal shipping in US waters had to be crewed by US nationals and/or permanent residents.

Since Portugal was a neutral country in WW2, I can definitely see their merchant flag as one of "convenience" during that period, especially given that Portugal was involved in the strategic tungsten trade not only from Iberia but also via its colony in Macau. It would be interesting to know if Portuguese-flagged vessels could be leased to foreign nationals for use as tramp ships to smuggle goods.

Likewise, there was at least one incident during WW2 of a Portuguese-flagged ship being used for espionage. The 'Gil Eannes', a Portuguese fishing vessel, was used to transmit info to the Germans about Allied naval movements in the Atlantic by its radio operator, Portuguese-national Gastão de Freitas Ferraz. You can see why I'm asking about the possibility of foreign nationals serving aboard Portuguese vessels during the war.
 
Likes: Tulius

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,463
Portugal
#4
Certain countries in the period (and indeed still today) had regulations concerning the crewing and leasing of their mercantile vessels by foreigners. For example, the Jones Act in the USA stipulated that coastal shipping in US waters had to be crewed by US nationals and/or permanent residents.

Since Portugal was a neutral country in WW2, I can definitely see their merchant flag as one of "convenience" during that period, especially given that Portugal was involved in the strategic tungsten trade not only from Iberia but also via its colony in Macau. It would be interesting to know if Portuguese-flagged vessels could be leased to foreign nationals for use as tramp ships to smuggle goods.

Likewise, there was at least one incident during WW2 of a Portuguese-flagged ship being used for espionage. The 'Gil Eannes', a Portuguese fishing vessel, was used to transmit info to the Germans about Allied naval movements in the Atlantic by its radio operator, Portuguese-national Gastão de Freitas Ferraz. You can see why I'm asking about the possibility of foreign nationals serving aboard Portuguese vessels during the war.
Indeed, I thought I understood your point with the first post and it is better contextualized now. But for me is puzzling since I didn’t, and don’t know how to elaborate on the theme.

And now you state here one thing that I don’t know. If I understood it right, you are saying that Portugal sent tungsten to Macau, implying that the final destiny would be Japan. Well if that happened, I don’t know or don’t recall to read about. The selling of tungsten to Germany (via Spain) and latter to the UK is well known. Curiously I have relatives in my family that mined and traded it.

The case that you mention of the “Gil Eannes” (often called “Eanes” due the current writing) is also not much known. The ship was not a fishing ship, but a support ship, an Hospital vessel that supported fishing vessels, mostly while fishing coadfish.

The ships was the German “Lahneck”, one of the captured German ships during WWI in the Portuguese ports. It was an Auxiliary cruiser during WWI. Went to the Merchant navy in 1921 and returned to the Portuguese Navy in 1924. It was transferred definitively in 1942 from the Portuguese Navy to the guild of codfish fishing ship owners. Don’t know the month!

The British boarded it, by personal of the HMS Duke of York, stationed in Gibraltar at the time, in 1942, before the Operation Torch; captured Gastão de Freitas Ferraz and questioned him. It seems that he was released when the war ended.

Wikipedia has a small entry about the new “Gil Eanes” (lauched in 1955), but mentions some previous information: Gil Eannes (ship) - Wikipedia (There is a Portuguese entry that says exactly the same).

Also found this; Secreta inglesa ponderou afundar navio português onde trabalhava espião nazi para informações não chegarem aos alemães - País - RTP Notícias (the article doesn’t seem quite reliable, but mentions some names and books that may help you)

And

Primeiro Lahneck, depois Gil Eannes

Here you have photos of the ship, in the Armada Magazine, p. 17 and following:

Revista da Armada

And also here on a blog:

Restos de Colecção: Navio-Hospital “Gil Eannes”

(sorry, all in Portuguese)

Curiously Franco Nogueira in his biography about Salazar, volume III (that is basically a portrait of the Portuguese Foreign affairs at the time), mentions often the events around Operation Torch but is silent about the incident of the “Gil Eannes”.

This doesn’t answer to your initial questions, but maybe you find something that can help you.

EDIT:

By the way, not directly related, but I recall that some Portuguese codfish vessels were sunk by the German submarines ( the "Maria da Glória" and the "Delães").
 
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Likes: hyuzu
Oct 2015
5,222
Matosinhos Portugal
#5
Tulius will be asking if there were German merchant ships. With the Portuguese flag and Portuguese name painted on the ship and some Portuguese mariners, in order to deceive the allies, as is the case, it will be the question that the friend asked.

Tulius our country has a history, which many Portuguese are unaware of, for example in the Portuguese colonies there were already Cuban soldiers in Portuguese Africa, I have a neighbor who today is 70 years old was in Angola in the war and captured two Cuban officers, were tortured and dead.

hyuzu your post is still important.

In portuguese

Tulius será que o amigo está a perguntar,se existiu navios mercantes alemães.Com a bandeira portuguêsa e nome português pintado no navio e alguns marinherios portuguêses ,para enganar os aliados,como viçe versa,será essa pergunta que o amigo fez.

Tulius o nosso país tem história,que muitos portuguêses a desconheçem,por exemplo nas colónias portuguêsas já existia militares cubanos na áfrica portuguêsa,tenho um vizinho que hoje tem 70 anos de idade esteve em Angola na guerra e capturaram dois oficiais cubanos,foram torturados e mortos.


hyuzu seu poste não deicha de ser importante.
 
May 2019
76
Earth
#6
If I understood it right, you are saying that Portugal sent tungsten to Macau
No, the tungsten was sourced from the interior of China by a collaborationist Chinese business in Guangzhou. The Portuguese government was not directly involved as far as I know; there was a smuggling ring in Macau that helped move this tungsten to Hong Kong (from where it could be shipped to Japan). The primary financing for this tungsten trade was handled in Macau.

Also found this; Secreta inglesa ponderou afundar navio português onde trabalhava espião nazi para informações não chegarem aos alemães - País - RTP Notícias (the article doesn’t seem quite reliable, but mentions some names and books that may help you)

And

Primeiro Lahneck, depois Gil Eannes

Here you have photos of the ship, in the Armada Magazine, p. 17 and following:

Revista da Armada

And also here on a blog:

Restos de Colecção: Navio-Hospital “Gil Eannes”

(sorry, all in Portuguese)
Thank you, I will look those over.

By the way, not directly related, but I recall that some Portuguese codfish vessels were sunk by the German submarines ( the "Maria da Glória" and the "Delães").
I heard that too. There were some neutrals who fell prey to combatant vessels, either Axis or Allied. I know the Irish lost a few ships to Uboats.
 
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