352.1115/999: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Consul at Barcelona (Franklin)

Your August 23, 7 p.m., requesting that you be furnished with 30 gas masks. From the inception of the revolution in Spain, we have constantly and persistently urged American nationals to depart to places of safety. At a very considerable expense we have made available American naval and commercial vessels to evacuate our nationals. We have urged that all our nationals who can possibly do so take advantage of these facilities. We have pointed out that those American nationals who remain in Spain do so at their own risk and upon their own responsibility. I feel that any decision to provide gas masks would necessarily be interpreted as a reversal of our policy of urging Americans who can possibly do so to leave Spain.

In a separate telegram today3 we gave you discretionary authority temporarily to close your office and to evacuate with the American members of your staff if in your judgment it became unsafe for you to remain.

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In these circumstances it is not deemed advisable to comply with your request.

  1. Not printed.