File No. 763.72119/405½

The Ambassador in Spain ( Willard ) to the Secretary of State


318. For the President’s personal and immediate information: Called this morning on the Minister of State to pay respects on my return, accompanied by Counselor of Embassy. Minister introduced subject of President’s so-called peace note and address to Senate of January 22. He said that tone of Spain’s reply to note would have been different if it had been delivered to Spanish Government before delivery to belligerent nations, and especially if Spain had been previously consulted. This reply by no means intended to close door to future cooperation looking towards peace. On the contrary he expressed desire to cooperate with the United States. The Minister said that Spain looks upon herself and United States as leading neutrals, and that Spain occupies distinctly different position from any other European neutral, and that as such feels herself in a position to cooperate with the United States as no other neutral can. He also referred to exceptional position of the King of Spain among European rulers and his great personal influence. Minister stated with some emphasis that address to Senate had made excellent impression in Spain, much better than peace note. As the result of conference to-day and other information secured since my return, I am convinced, and Counselor of Embassy concurs, that the cordial cooperation of Spain looking to peace can be secured if the United States Government sees fit to confer with the Spanish Government through such channels as it may select, and in advance of any further public communication with belligerents or other neutrals. I am specially convinced that the Spanish Government feels that its position and position of its King justify a consideration on the part of [Page 31] the United States distinct from that accorded to any other neutral and that working on this basis its cordial cooperation can be relied upon.