The Consul General at Barcelona ( Perkins ) to the Secretary of State

No. 217

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my telegram of February 1, 1 p.m.,33 concerning the arrival in Barcelona of the American ambulance unit [Page 478] which crossed on the steamship Paris and to state that the local press reports that this unit has now left for Valencia in order to proceed for service at the front with the Government forces. None of the members of the unit have thus far called at this Consulate-General and there has been no contact with them of any kind to date.

According to press reports the ambulance unit was sent by the “Popular Front of the United States” through the medical bureau of the Friends of Spanish Democracy. It was stated by Dr. Edward Basky, who appears to be spokesman for the expedition, that the organization known as Friends of Spanish Democracy is represented in every state of the Union and was founded as a result of the popular enthusiasm engendered by Sra. Isabel de Palencia and Sr. Marcelino Domingo during a speaking tour of the United States. He stated that the medical bureau of this organization had been established only two months ago.

The members of the unit were received with great enthusiasm and were tendered a banquet at which the principal speakers were Jaime Miravitlles, Commissary of Propaganda of the Generalidad, Dr. Durán y Rosell, in the name of the Council and of the Counsellor of Defense, and Dr. Basky, on behalf of the American contingent. The hope was expressed and encouraged that there would be other sanitary units to follow in the future.

The equipment consists of four complete ambulances with radio sending and receiving apparatus and heaters.

There is also enclosed as of possible interest to the Department a picture recently published in the local press regarding the recruiting of volunteers in the United States for the Spanish Government forces, the caption of which may be translated as follows: “In spite of the decree forbidding it, and doubtless because Mr. Roosevelt is inclined in favor of the combatants of the Republic, there is functioning in New York a recruiting office of true volunteers to round out the Popular Army in Spain. The poster on the wall of the office reveals the enmity the American people feel against nazism, represented by a blood-stained hatchet.”

Respectfully yours,

Mahlon F. Perkins
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