852.00/2417: Telegram

The Chargé in Germany ( Mayer ) to the Secretary of State

244. Foreign Office discussed with me at some length this morning the complications of the Spanish situation. The French Ambassador had talked with Neurath28 yesterday regarding joint neutrality with respect to which the French had previously made [proposal?] to the British and Italians. The British attitude was generally favorable while the Italians preferred “to wait and see”. Neurath indicated that while he was not sure that the necessity existed he was not opposed to discussion of the situation. He believed, however, that all powers concerned, including Soviet Russia, should participate. There would seem, therefore, to be considerable likelihood that joint discussions will take place shortly on this subject.

Foreign Office is somewhat disturbed regarding the safety and evacuation of the 1200 Germans still remaining in Madrid. It understands that the Italian and British Embassies have urged their nationals to leave Madrid at once in view of impending danger, whether from the radicals in Madrid or attack by the insurgents on the city or both. Germany is considering following the British and Italian lead. In such a case evacuation would be via Valencia where the line is apparently still open and/or in part by Lufthansa airplanes from Marseille.

According to reports received late last night at the Foreign Office from German Embassy in Madrid, at a meeting of the Diplomatic Corps yesterday the Doyen and the British and Italian representatives were in favor of requesting an international force of marines to protect diplomatic missions and foreign nationals at Madrid, presumably the marines to be landed at Valencia and thence to Madrid. Foreign Office is endeavoring to ascertain whether the above really represents the attitude of the British and Italian Governments, meanwhile suspending judgment itself, although opposed in principle to the idea as impracticable and dangerous.

Foreign Office of course recognizes the increasing dangers of the Spanish situation with respect to international complications and gives every appearance of wishing to avoid these.

Copies to London, Paris, Rome.

  1. Baron von Neurath, German Minister for Foreign Affairs.