852.00/4469: Telegram

The Counselor of Embassy in Spain ( Thurston ) to the Secretary of State

X–468. Ugarte28 informed me yesterday afternoon that he had received notice from the local authorities that, pursuant to instructions from the Government in Valencia, the Embassy guards would be replaced by new men. This morning he informed me that the new guards are already on duty but that the old ones still remain in the Embassy.

In view of the policy heretofore followed (see Embassy’s 356 [X–354], September [November] 26, 2 a.m.29 and X–347, September [November] 24, 7 p.m.30) of endeavoring to retain the original guards I took up the matter orally with the Secretary General of Foreign Office this morning. He assured me that he will endeavor to have the old guards retained but appeared to feel that it may not be possible. From the Government’s point of view there are two reasons for changing guards at the numerous Foreign Missions in Madrid: (a) Because the sinecure enjoyed by them arouses resentment among men of the same force serving in the fighting lines, and (b) because (and this, of course, does not apply to us) guards serving too long at Missions harboring large numbers of refugees are in danger of being weaned away from their allegiance.

Your 250, January 22, 4 p.m.31 Having learned from Ugarte that the guards of the Commercial Attaché’s office had not been restored I also requested that an adequate guard be reestablished and received assurances that it would be restored immediately.

  1. Custodian of the Embassy at Madrid.
  2. Foreign Relations, 1936, vol. ii, p. 777.
  3. Ibid, p. 776.
  4. Not printed.