File No. 652.119/66
The Ambassador in Spain ( Willard ) to the Secretary of State
[Received September 23, 1.40 a.m.]
797. Minister for Foreign Affairs requests that Embassy urge that Spanish vessel Bartolo, destined for Chile from Norfolk with coal and Chile to Spain with nitrates, be supplied with desired coal as said nitrates are necessary to insure next Spanish crop of wheat and sugar. He requests also release of Cataluña, loaded since August 28 with petroleum for Pasajes, where he states that the supply is now nearly exhausted. Embassy respectfully suggests that such concession in regard to the first above-named ship as Department may see fit to make would be of advantage here in insuring the present liberal attitude of Spanish Government towards our co-belligerents, facilitate shipment of iron ore and other necessary commodities, and strengthen our influence with Spain. Spain now recognizes her immediate dependence upon us and is most anxious for close commercial and other relations. In an interview with His Majesty yesterday he so expresses himself very earnestly. Furthermore concerning coal desired for Bartolo, it should be borne in mind that such coal cannot reach our enemies. However regarding Cataluña and desired release of its cargo of petrol Embassy cannot recommend release without further investigation as to the consignees for fear that part of such cargo might be supplied to German submarine boats. Embassy requests instructions.