The Ambassador in France (Straus) to the Secretary of State
[Received July 23—4:10 p.m.]
635. Talked with Wendelin on the phone who said that Consul Franklin at Barcelona had read the following telegram which he had [Page 637]sent the Department over the telephone to him with the request that it be transmitted to the Department through Paris as well, as he does not think the message has gone through:
[For substance of the message, here omitted, see telegram No. 630, July 23, 10 a.m., from the Ambassador in France, page 632.]
The following further oral statement was made by Franklin to Wendelin at 1 o’clock today: Yesterday Tuesday at noon the clerk of the Consulate General, Santiago Iturralde (Spanish subject), left the Consulate General in a car bearing the American flag and driven by chauffeur of British nationality with the object of bringing back Mr. George Jenkins, head of the Ford Motor Company in Barcelona, from the outskirts of Barcelona. He has not since returned to the Consulate General or communicated with it. This morning the Consul was informed that an automobile bearing the American flag was fired upon and set fire to on the outskirts of the city and that at least one of the occupants was killed. Franklin gives a good deal of credence to this story because the clerk is a man of absolute trustworthiness and would certainly have returned to the Consulate General or communicated with it if possible long before now. Jenkins is reported to be safe. Franklin has addressed a note to the President of the Catalan Government which was delivered personally by Consul Braddock at noon today. In this note Franklin recites the above facts and points out the seriousness of the responsibilities incurred by the Catalan Government if the information is proved to be true. The President of the Catalan Government gave immediate assurances that he would accede to the demand of the Consulate General that an official car of the Government with sufficient guard be placed immediately at the disposal of Braddock who would proceed immediately to investigate and seek the missing clerk. Braddock will leave at 3 o’clock this afternoon to investigate the situation with official car and escort. Franklin will advise the Embassy at Madrid as soon as this investigation has been made. He has attempted to cable direct to the Department and to get in touch with the Embassy in Paris but fears that he will be unable to do so (we have received no word direct from him).