852.00/2178: Telegram

The Counselor of Embassy in Spain (Johnson) to the Secretary of State

48. My telegram No. 46, July 19, 4 p.m. Revolutionary movement apparently led by Generals Franco, Queipo de Llano, and Mola and supported by Fascists and other Rights has assumed large proportions but definite information impossible to obtain. Chief of Foreign Office Secretes [section] here states he has no information as to progress or suppression of movement. Wires are cut between here and Madrid and impossible to communicate by telephone with any of our Consulates. Have telegraphed every Consulate in Spain to inquire as to situation and welfare of Americans but have no security that telegrams will be delivered. General strike probably exists all over Spain and train service is largely stopped. Government asserted yesterday over radio that movement in Madrid and Barcelona has been put down. There are, however, rumors that revolutionary troops are in control of these cities. Radio stations in Seville and Burgos in hands of insurgents report movement in many cities successful.

Impossible to verify attitude of Navy or whether Navy has transported insurgent regiments from Spanish Morocco to Spain.

Government has requested all loyal supporters to arm themselves and has distributed arms to Socialist youth and other Republican organizations.

In San Sebastián and neighboring towns proletariat has certainly obtained arms, and barricades have been erected and bridges blown up on roads leading to Vitoria and Pamplona, from which places it is alleged that revolutionary forces are now advancing on this city. Attitude of regiment here doubtful. Sporadic shooting in streets and roads probably thus far the result of arms in inexperienced hands. Civil Governor states frontier is closed to all except diplomats.

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Have read over telephone greater part of this cable to Ambassador Bowers who is, at the moment, at his house 5 miles from here at Fuenterrabia but telephone connection no longer obtainable. Civil Governor has just advised over radio that public other than defenders of the city keep indoors and close all shutters. Apparently immediate attack is expected.