852.00/2742: Telegram

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

X–79. Department’s telegram No. 90 of August 20, 8 p.m. Foreign Office note verbale dated August 20 just received states that:

“Spanish ports in the power of the rebels as well as those of Ceuta and Melilla and the ports of our proscription zone in Morocco, Balearic and Canary Islands, have all been declared a war zone and therefore it is not possible for the ships of our fleet to permit the entry into them of merchant ships in order in this way to prevent furnishing of provinces of Almería, Murcia, Alicante and Badajoz and supplies to the rebels.”

Foreign Office requests that this information be transmitted to American Government in order that American merchant ships may be warned and that thus “possible incidents may be avoided”. Same communication believed sent to all other Governments.

Decree of July 28 authorizes Minister of War to declare state of war in any part of national territory affected and military operations against rebels. Spanish ports referred to are in following regions which have been declared in state of war and under blockade: Ifni, Río de Oro and other Spanish possessions on west coast of Africa. Province of Jaén under military rule but not subject to blockade.

So far as known here no foreign Government officer has recently been notified. General opinion in which Military Attaché and I concur is that blockade is not and cannot be effective.