The Ambassador in France (Straws) to the Secretary of State
[Received July 23—8:33 p.m.]
636. Just talked with Wendelin by phone. He states situation becoming very serious. They have made every effort all afternoon to get all Americans in the Embassy. They now have practically all native Americans numbering over 100 in the Embassy. Reason for this is that they are informed a military engagement took place north of Madrid between Government troops and rebel troops in which Government forces were defeated and are retiring in disorder towards the city. The Government is sending out heavy reenforcements and claims it can win victory. However, armed militia have taken up positions on rooftops throughout Madrid. Office of ABC newspaper across the street from the Embassy is occupied and roof held by large number of armed men. This position dominates this part of Madrid and incidentally the Embassy. Leaders of British colony in Madrid at meeting this afternoon demanded of British Vice Consul in charge that telegram be sent to the British Government saying British colony in Madrid wishes to be evacuated at once.
Wendelin added that if the Philippine colony of over 100 in Madrid decides to come to the Embassy they will be more than full.