852.75 National Telephone Company/36: Telegram

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

99. Your telegram 86, November 18, 3 p.m. In order that there may be no possible misapprehension as to our position in opposition [Page 564] to this confiscatory bill, I believe you should obtain an interview with Azaña at the earliest possible moment. You are entirely familiar with our views and I believe that you should concentrate upon convincing the Premier of the seriousness with which we regard this matter and upon obtaining from him an assurance that he will oppose the measure.

We would have no objection, of course, to modification of the contract, but it should be made perfectly plain that we do not propose tacitly to assent to unilateral action against the company which, if taken, you may intimate would probably result in the presentation in support of these American interests of a claim for damages.

I understand from the Embassy’s report that you feel the reintroduction of the bill may in some measure represent an effort on the part of elements of the opposition to embarrass the present Government. I do not believe, however, that the local political situation in Spain should be permitted to modify the vigorousness of your representations.

Please keep the Department closely informed by telegraph.