The Ambassador in France (Straus) to the Secretary of State
[Received July 23—9:40 a.m.]
630. Your 235, July 22, 3 p.m., and 239, July 22, 11 p.m.54 After trying throughout the night we were able this morning to get through by telephone to Consul Franklin at Barcelona, He said that he had cabled you yesterday and had telegraphed us here but we have not received the telegram. He stated that yesterday two Italian and one British warship had come into the harbor and were available for the protection of Americans in case of necessity. An Italian passenger ship is due today and all Americans desiring to take this ship can do so. General Motors branch in Barcelona is arranging for the departure of some 20 women and children on this steamer today which is [Page 633] expected to go to Genoa. Franklin said that any question of using the small freighter at Tarragona was now “out of the question” and he did not think it necessary to have the Exeter call at Barcelona. He believes that the despatch of an American war vessel to Barcelona, while not necessary for the protection of American lives, would have a salutary effect on the opinion of Americans there and be helpful to our prestige.
He stated that there is relative calm in the city and no firings although a good deal of pillage by irresponsible armed groups. The labor groups which had been armed had been sent outside the city to fight the insurgents. Although the local authorities had given orders through the newspapers and by radio that no foreigners were to be molested several automobiles owned by foreigners have been confiscated and many homes owned by foreigners riddled by bullets. No injury or deaths reported of Americans or other foreigners. Franklin said that there was one element in the labor organization composed of downright Anarchists who were armed and were a potential danger. He believes that unsettled conditions will last for some time.
He stated that Consul Jackson and family were safe in Madrid and that he was able to talk yesterday with Consul Davis and Vice Consul Wells at Valencia. Davis stated that Valencia was in the hands of the Communists but all Americans safe.
- Neither printed; they contained instructions to contact the Consul at Barcelona and make inquiries regarding the despatch of the S. S. Exeter to Barcelona, and other measures for the evacuation of Americans (852.00/2193, 2201).↩