The relations between ordinary Portuguese citizens and the Salazarist authorities were moulded to a significant degree by the situation of endemic poverty in Portugal, right until the end of the regime. The phenomenon has yet to be studied systematically, but numerous citizens wrote letters to the public authorities in the hope of obtaining some form of assistance, such as access to work. In this letter, one citizen from Lousada – whose name has been ‘expurgated’ by the archivists of the Torre do Tombo – wrote to the President of the Republic (Américo Tomás) in the hope of joining the PIDE. From his perspective, the PIDE did not represent a threat to his ‘freedom’ or well-being’, but an economic opportunity to be seized upon.
The document below is a typed copy of the letter, forwarded by the Presidency of the Republic to the PIDE for assessment. This suggests that such prospective applications were taken seriously by the authorities, as a means of supplying the PIDE with functionaries and informers. (Arch. Ref.: PIDE/DGS, SC, CI (1), 219, NT1177, pasta 4).