852.00/2207: Telegram

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

49. My No. 48, July 20, 6 p.m. Rumored attack on San Sebastián thus far false alarm although civilians armed by local authorities still leaving town in automobiles and trucks in direction of Pamplona apparently with purpose of defending city. Shooting in streets continues and at least one barricade erected. Have assembled staff in Continental Hotel which houses Chancery. Bullets entered house last night where member of staff had lodged.

No definite information obtainable as to success revolutionary movement most parts of Spain but it has been quelled in Madrid and Government radio bulletins optimistic. Only telegram received from Consuls comes from Bilbao stating Province in control of Government but that Burgos, Vitoria, Logroño and Pamplona in hands of insurgents.

Have also received the following telegram from Wendelin dated 20th:

“Military revolt this morning Madrid quelled by loyal Government forces including Civil and Assault Guards. All Americans strongly urged to remain indoors but none yet concentrated in Embassy grounds. Have requested police protection Consulate. Raised flag on Embassy, Consulate, and office Military Attaché at noon today because of dangerous situation in streets and inadequate police protection. Same action by British and other Missions and Consulates. Some sniping from roof tops by Fascists and much firing in streets by armed labor militia. Telephone company center of firing but request inform relatives in States no officials or families injured. No Americans known to have been injured. Government making every effort to restore order. Will communicate further any means possible.”

A few tourists of various nationalities were permitted to cross frontier yesterday but Foreign Office states this morning that frontier [Page 444] is closed and that even diplomats cannot cross without special safe conduct from Civil Governor. Road to frontier which the Ambassador must use to come from his house to office barricaded and dangerous. No trains running this part of Spain.

Telephone communication with Ambassador still unobtainable.

At this moment armed citizens are firing at an airplane from just outside this hotel. Plane presumably comes from Pamplona and is said to be dropping revolutionary propaganda.