852.1115/346: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Third Secretary of Embassy in Spain (Wendelin)

63. The following telegram has been sent to all consular officers in Spain:

“This Government is lending its every effort in the protection of American citizens and to afford them means of evacuation from Spain. It appears that a number of Americans for one reason or another have decided not to avail themselves of existing opportunities to be evacuated. It is of course a matter for each individual to determine whether or not he will remain on in Spain or whether he will avail himself of present means of evacuation. Irrespective of the decision of any of our nationals in this respect, the Government will continue its every effort to protect them. However, I feel that each consular officer [Page 655] should inform Americans in his district that in spite of all the best efforts of this Government to provide means of evacuation, it cannot be assured that conditions will remain in such a state that American vessels may at all times enter Spanish ports for the purpose of evacuating Americans.”

In the light of the situation and possible developments in Madrid, I am naturally concerned over the large number of Americans who have decided to remain on there. The decision to remain and the reasons therefor naturally rest with the individual concerned. However, it has occurred to me that there may be in Madrid a number of Americans who for financial reasons have found it impossible or inexpedient to be evacuated. Funds available to the Department are naturally very limited, but if there are Americans in Madrid who would, were they financially able, like to leave, funds can be found to provide for railway fare to the coast and for their reasonable maintenance for a limited period of time at some foreign port, say Marseille. Naturally you would be expected carefully to see that this plan is not abused by people not in actual need. I wish you would make this information known to Americans in actual distress or need in Madrid.

I would like also to know how many Americans in Madrid are (1) citizens of the United States proper; (2) of Puerto Rico, and (3) of the Philippines. Thus in case nationals there are in financial need the Department could on receipt of their names and of their relatives endeavor to obtain funds for them from those relatives.