352.1115/630: Telegram

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

X–47. Department’s telegram No. 76, August 10, 7 p.m. British Government several days ago authorized officials at Madrid to leave if situation sufficiently serious. British representative here informed his Government situation did not justify such action and he did not intend to leave although he is endeavoring to evacuate as many British subjects as possible.

From the moment that rail communication was reestablished with Valencia and Alicante, and I felt reasonably sure of the safety of the line, I have not ceased to urge Americans here to leave. As reported in my telegrams Nos. X–2786 and X–28, of August 4 [2], 9 a.m. and [Page 667] August 4, 10 a.m., most of the Americans still in Madrid are disposed to remain because of business or family ties. In such cases I have repeatedly urged that at least women and children be evacuated and some results have been obtained as shown by the fact that all except one of the 38 people who left Madrid last night were women and children (my telegram No. X–46, August 11, 5 p.m.87). By special authority obtained from the Minister of Finance, as reported in my telegram No. X–31 of August 5, noon,87 all Americans in need of dollar exchange have been supplied with travellers checks or bank drafts through the International Banking Corporation, Madrid, at the official peseta rate of exchange. This arrangement makes it possible for many people to leave who otherwise could not or would not do so.

304 persons without financial means have been advanced funds under authorization Department’s telegram No. 63 of August 1, 1 p.m. to cover cost of railroad fares to Valencia and a small additional amount for incidental expenses as far as Marseille. Very few people without financial means are, however, willing to leave under this arrangement because of fear that they will be stranded in France without means of support if present situation in Spain continues any length of time. These people have their only source of income in Spain.

  1. Telegram No. X–27 not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not printed.