The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Spain (Laughlin)
10. Embassy’s 20 of April 15, 7 p.m.2 Information and comment on the points listed below are desired. The data and remarks will facilitate the Department’s decision on whether or not recognition should be extended to the Provisional Government.
- From newspaper sources we learn that the King has not abdicated but has merely left Spain, thereby “suspending the exercise of the Royal Powers.” Consequently, we are concerned with the question of the legal status of the monarchy and of the Provisional Government.
- Moreover, we are interested in the responsible character and apparent stability of the Provisional Government.
- The Department would like to know, too, the policy which the several European Governments, especially those of Germany, Great Britain, Italy and France, intend to pursue with regard to the recognition of the Provisional Government.
In our opinion, recognition of the Provisional Government by the United States ought not to precede the extension of such by the chief powers of Europe with which Spain has much closer relations.
Your handling of this current business should be governed, I believe, by the attitude which the representatives of the aforementioned Governments take.
Following that there are two alternatives.
- You might see the Provisional President and tell him that, although you have received no instructions with regard to recognition of his regime, it is your hope that the amicable relations between Spain and the United States will not be interrupted; that you are ready to continue to deal informally with the Foreign Office.
- You might proceed as heretofore in relations with the Foreign Office on current business matters.
- Not printed.↩