The Ambassador in Great Britain (Dawes) to the Secretary of State
[Received April 18—9:20 a.m.]
113. Department’s circular of April 17th, 5 p.m.7 The British Ambassador in France notified the Foreign Office last night that, during the night, the “Provisional Government of Spain” would be recognized by the French. According to the morning press reports France has extended this recognition. Although the Foreign Office has received no confirmation as yet, official word is expected at any time. I have learned from the Foreign Office that the intention of the British Government to extend recognition has been cabled to the Dominion Governments; that confirmation from the Dominions has been requested. It is improbable that all replies will be received before Monday. By that date at the latest, the Foreign Office states that the Provisional Government of Spain will be recognized by the British. The use of the term “Provisional Government of Spain” is considered important. Following the French form, the British note of recognition will contain that designation. The suggestion of Vansittart is that Laughlin in Spain might conveniently consult with his British colleague there as to the form we intend to use. He agreed with me, however, that it would not be wise to allow any appearance of concurrent action. With reference to Vansittart’s suggestion, I asked him whether he had made it because of the importance he gave to the order in which his Government and that of the United States notified the Spanish Provisional Government of their recognition. The time when other Governments communicated their notification of recognition was now a matter of indifference to his Government, he replied, since the French had already been the first to do so. If, in your opinion immediate action is desirable, you need not delay because of anything here.