832.00/2201: Telegram

The Ambassador in France ( Straus ) to the Secretary of State

629. Following by telephone from Madrid:

The telephone company at Wendelin’s request has telephoned the following message to all known Americans in Madrid: “I am requested to inform you that the Embassy is open to all Americans and offers its protection if desired by them. Those availing themselves of this offer must bring their passports and simply travelling bags and toilet articles, and if practicable a blanket and food for one meal.” Inasmuch as the Embassy has no guards to protect Americans proceeding to the Embassy, it is not urging Americans to come to the Embassy but only offering protection if they care to come.

This was done at 2:30 this afternoon.

The city is still quiet but the situation is ominous. It is feared that the irresponsible youths may start searching houses at any moment putting people in considerable danger.

Embassy has just received a message from the town of Guadarrama which is about 50 kilometers northwest of Madrid informing them that an American woman was wounded there in fighting that occurred there this morning and requesting the Embassy to attempt to have her brought back to Madrid. This was half an hour ago. The Embassy immediately got in touch with the Director General of Safety and requested him to send for her as the Embassy has no means of going there.

The Embassy at Madrid strongly urges that the cruiser Quincy be sent on to Barcelona.

Referring to confidential paragraph Embassy’s 625, July 22, 1 p.m. Mrs. … is now at the Embassy and although they were informed last night that there had been an examination by a doctor [Page 632] this has not proved to be the case. She insists, however, that she was in fact attacked.

The Embassy is now informed that the food supply is practically exhausted. Embassy has supply estimated to carry five people for 30 days. They are concerned over the water supply because of the killing of a group of guards that protect the water aqueduct coming from the mountains. These guards were killed by soldiers of an engineering regiment who left their barracks on the outskirts of Madrid, deserted the Government and fled northwards to join the rebel force at Segovia. Embassy fears water supply may be deliberately cut to deprive the city of water. In view of this, Embassy has filled all available receptacles and have a good-sized reservoir filled on the roof of the Embassy. Unless conditions become extremely desperate, they feel that any one in the Embassy will be safe. Their principal concern is that the two guards may be taken away. The British Embassy by the last report had had no protection afforded to it. The German Embassy, because of the size of the German colony in Madrid which amounts to over 3,000 people, has decided not to invite them to come to the Embassy which is not large enough to accommodate them. They will, therefore, limit themselves to anyone appearing at the Embassy doors requesting admission.

The Government reports officially that they defeated the rebel troops holding Toledo and occupied the city, and likewise the city of Guadalajara. Embassy has no information as to conditions in the south of Spain.

Straus