852.00/1818: Telegram

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

[Paraphrase]

21. The majority which the Republicans unexpectedly received in the usually unimportant municipal elections was apparently the cause for the events of this week. Since the gain was only in the larger [Page 986]cities the effect is unwarranted. For the entire country, the total number returned is, however, monarchical.

Surprised fright was the initial reaction of the Royal Government and the advisers and attendants of the King. The latter was insistently urged by the entire Cabinet, with one exception, to leave the country. The King finally concluded that by remaining a condition of civil war would be brought about. Consequently his sense of duty to his people obliged him to go. The King was surrounded by incompetent, selfish, and ignorant political personages and an obscurantist aristocracy. He and the Spanish people are the victims of this accumulation of evils.

There are elements of the gravest nature in the resulting conditions. Communistic falsities have captivated the seventeenth century-minded Spanish people. All at once they see a promised land which does not exist. Ultimately they will be disillusioned. Then they will grasp at anything within their reach. Should the weak restraints of this newborn regime collapse, they will easily be captured by the widespread Bolshevistic influences.

I do not believe immediate recognition of this regime is advisable. Nevertheless, unless the Department regularly accredits me to it, some sort of modus vivendi will be necessary in order to deal with it.

Laughlin