352.1121 Blodgett, Walton/100: Telegram

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

42. Your despatches No. 91 of August 1 and No. 115 of August 2343 concerning the imprisonment of five American citizens at Palma have been received. Full instructions are being sent you by pouch leaving September 8. However, in view of possible delay in arrival, the following summary is sent for your guidance when you judge the moment most opportune. Although the Department does not overlook the special position of the Guardia Civil or the differences in legal procedure in the two countries, nevertheless wide spread indignation has been aroused both in the press and in Congress by the long imprisonment without bail or trial of these five Americans of good repute for what is considered here a minor offense. In view of the fact that the relations between the two countries are being rapidly embittered out of all proportion to the gravity of the offense and the satisfaction to be gained by the Spanish authorities in inflicting further punishment, you are requested again to call on the Prime Minister and the Minister for Foreign Affairs suggesting to them that in these circumstances they may desire to consider the advisability of bringing this matter to a speedy and final solution by dismissal or otherwise.

If your efforts in this direction are unsuccessful and the accused as a result of the trial are sentenced to additional imprisonment or to pay other than nominal fines, you are instructed promptly to forward to the Department a complete record of the trial and proceedings and a copy of the charges together with pertinent provisions of the Spanish penal or military code, as in these circumstances the Department will desire to take such steps as any denial of justice may warrant. You should also make definite arrangements for the attendance of Consul General Dawson at the trial should it be held.

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