352.1121 Ambler, I. Owen/6: Telegram

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

87. A press report from London states that 38 members of the staff of the Rio Tinto Mining Corporation including J. O. Ambler, an American citizen, are being held as hostages in the Huelva Mines by “Spanish Communists” who it is stated refuse to permit evacuation of the hostages aboard the British destroyer Craven in Huelva harbor. The London Manager of the company believed that any approach toward the mines by anti-Government forces would place the staff in the greatest jeopardy.

It is understood that the company has appealed to the British Foreign Office and the Spanish Embassy in London for assistance and that the British Government has made urgent representations to the Spanish Government regarding this matter.

This morning I instructed the American Consul at Seville immediately to get in touch with the British Consul at Seville and to associate himself in a most emphatic manner with representations looking to the safety and rescue of Mr. Ambler. You are instructed to get in touch with your British colleague and similarly to associate yourself in representations respecting the safety and rescue of Ambler. If your British colleague has received no instructions, take the matter up immediately with the appropriate authorities and inform them that the American Government must expect the Spanish Government to take immediate steps to bring about Mr. Ambler’s release.