Hi and many thanks. But I think it may be a Portuguese source. It is situated above the map of the Lines of Torres Vedras in the “Operacional” website you kindly posted up featuring the exhibits at the Museu Municipal Leonel Trindade in Torres Vedras. I think it may (perhaps) refer to the position of the regency council at the time. In effect (reluctantly) agreeing with the plan put forward by Wellington, not for the defence of the realm but for that of Lisbon, and its immediate environs. The reason I think that it might be a Portuguese source is the second sentence and the need to pay attention to the possibility that the British troops may, if a significant reverse is suffered, embark.
I find all this very interesting, as one of the issues I’m looking at, at the moment, is the preparations for the defense of Lisbon and the impact of the war on Portugal and the Portuguese people. I know that Wellington had some problems, at the time, with the principal Sousa who received some support (I believe) from the patriarch Castro. Wellington, in his letter to prince João (Cartaxo, 30th November 1810) complains of the lack of support, and moreover the public and private opposition of the principal Sousa to the plans – most especially the preparations for the depopulation of invaded areas and devastation of the countryside. Wellington concedes that the principal Sousa had not agreed to the plans (in the first place) but that a strong majority of council members had: therefore the principal should have accepted the majority view and even if he had doubts, kept them private (or at least within the circle of the government) rather than openly announcing them. Wellington also accepts that the actions of the principal were not driven by a lack of patriotism.
Both Oman and Soriano are in agreement (on the substantive points above) but see Oman vol iii pp 415-6 and especially p416, fn1 where he says that Soriano also asserts that Sousa was right to make his views known in public and private. Soriano, vol iii (segunda epoca) 130 – 144.
My translation (some literary license)
“The greatest objective in Portugal is [maintaining] the domain of Lisbon and [the valley of] the Tagus (Vale do Tejo?), and all the measures must be directed [to achieving] this objective. An other exists, linked to that first objective, and to which we must pay equal attention, namely the [possibility] of the embarcation of the British troops, as a result of a major [military] defeat.”