852.75 National Telephone Company/47: Telegram

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

91. Your 101, November 22, 6 p.m. I handed Azaña copy of my note of protest last evening. I strengthened my previous representations by saying that the protection of the vast foreign investment of the United States lent added weight to your stand on present case.

Azaña spoke of finding a way out of the situation which could be accepted by both sides and explained his desire to reconcile the requirements of the State with the interests of the company. He made the reservation of “unforeseeable events” and suggested that the way out would have to be discovered and not marked out in advance; this illustrates how domestic political expediency dictates the course which the Government has followed so far. The Cortes has been given a free hand and is being ruled by mob psychology. Ministers of the Government have made conflicting and contradictory statements there in tones almost as hostile to the contract as those of the proponents of nullification. I can therefore report nothing as yet which would permit the hope that the Government, divided within itself, is either able or even willing to make an effective attempt to block legislative action, and if the bill comes to a vote the outlook is for adoption, perhaps vote unanimously.

By my instructions Wiley saw Ocerín, the Under Secretary of State, this morning and made very strong oral representations emphasizing the gravity of the situation. Ocerín replied that he could say nothing.

I will reply to your No. 102 of November 24 in a separate telegram.