852.75 National Telephone Company/124

Memorandum by the Counselor of Embassy in Spain (Wiley)37


Pursuant to a telephonic request from Señor Ocerín, the Sub-Secretary of State, I called at 7:00 o’clock at his office. He received me with the statement that he had been charged by the Minister for Foreign Affairs to communicate through me to the Ambassador that “the Minister did not understand the unjustified alarm which was felt over the bill for the nullification of the Telephone contract; this bill had been presented in December, 1931; since then no new factor had arisen; there was nothing new, and there was no motive for alarm”. Señor Ocerín had obviously memorized the Minister’s statement for he repeated it without varying a single word at least three times. I replied that with all due respect to the Minister’s observations, I ventured to point out that the present parliamentary situation was a new factor, the statements from the Government bench, subscribing to the bill, was a new factor, and, moreover, the resuscitation of the bill, which had been lying dormant, was in itself a new and startling development. The fact that the American Government had waited from December to November before making representation indicated only the patience and moderation with which it had acted. As for the Minister’s statement that there was no motive for alarm, I could only express my thanks for this reassuring statement, but was obliged, in due frankness, to make it clear that [Page 571] alarm was felt. Señor Ocerín replied by repeating the Minister’s words still another time. I thereupon reiterated my previous remarks and amplified them somewhat.

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John C. Wiley
  1. Transmitted to the Department by the Ambassador in his despatch No. 973, December 3, 1932; received December 23.