352.1121 Blodgett, Walton/120

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

No. 141

Sir: With reference to your instruction No. 32 of September 8, 1933 (File No. 352.1121 Blodgett, Walton/83 [102]),44 directing me to again see the Prime Minister and the Minister of State in reference to the case of the five Americans at Mallorca, I had before receiving the instruction seen them again and impressed upon them the seriousness of imposing a sentence in excess of the time already served in jail.

I was satisfied at the time that everything possible was being done by Sr. Azaña. But with the fall of his Ministry I thought it wise to see Sr. Lerroux45 and the Foreign Office again lest the Prime Minister be in ignorance of the case. He fixed five o’clock on Monday, the 18th, for the conference at the Presidencia. Accompanied by Mr. Schoellkopf,46 I went to the Presidencia at the appointed time and found the Ministers’ ante-room crowded with importunate office-seekers, but was admitted soon. As I had feared, Sr. Lerroux knew nothing of the case. After I had explained the situation, he said he would go the next day directly from the Council of Ministers to the Foreign Office and familiarize himself with the case. “I shall do everything possible within the law,” he said, and then added that he would go beyond that, if necessary, to prevent any bad feeling between the two peoples.

We went directly from Sr. Lerroux to the Foreign Office to see Sr. Cruz Marin, the Undersecretary under Sr. de los Ríos, who retains his post pending the return to Spain of the new Minister of State and who is entirely familiar with the case. He promised to impress its importance on Sr. Lerroux and added: “I have no right to say this to you, but I will in confidence say that I am sure the matter has been attended to satisfactorily. I know that Sr. Azaña was deeply interested and I myself was present when he called the authorities at Palma and I know what he said”. He said he intended to take the matter up with Sr. Sánchez Albornoz, the new Minister of State, on his return. He has been asked by the latter to retain his post as Undersecretary, but he had come to Madrid because of his personal friendship for Sr. de los Ríos and preferred service in America and will go to New York as Consul General.

I left with the feeling that there will be no further imprisonment of the five Americans. In the event it turns out otherwise I shall follow the instructions in your instruction under reference.

Respectfully yours,

Claude G. Bowers
  1. Not printed.
  2. Alejandro Lerroux, Prime Minister of Spain.
  3. Walter Schoellkopf, translator for Ambassador Bowers in Spain.