The Chargé in the Soviet Union (Henderson) to the Secretary of State
[Received July 31—5:45 p.m.]
177. Reference telegram number 54 of July 29, 4 p.m. from Legation, Riga.19
Neymann20 of Foreign Office has told me today substantially as follows:
“Although I am not authorized by my Government to make any official statement on the subject, I can tell you privately and in confidence that the Soviet Government has carefully refrained from taking any action which might be considered as interference in Spanish affairs, no Soviet arms or other military equipment have been sent to Spain nor Soviet boats or officials played any role directly or indirectly in the conflict. Charges of Soviet interference have been made, however, by Germany and Italy in order to justify aid which they have already given to the rebels. I am informed that these Fascist states are planning to render more assistance in the future if deemed necessary in order to insure a victory for the reactionaries. If the Soviet Government had furnished military equipment to the Spanish Government it could not be criticized therefor since there is no tenet in international law prohibiting one government from furnishing military supplies to a friendly government endeavoring to put down a revolution.”
Although the Soviet press frankly expresses sympathy for the Spanish Government it has thus far not published any articles which might be considered as instruction or advice to the Communists included in the Peoples Front. The closing lines of an article on the subject in yesterday’s Izvestiya contained the following hint.
“Further welding of all democratic anti-Fascist forces in the Peoples Front, resolute struggle for the disarmament of the counterrevolution, the performance of the ripe and solution demanding tasks of the bourgeois democratic revolution, these are the fundamental guarantees of the victory of Spanish Democracy over Fascism.”