352.1115/3018: Telegram

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

265. Your X–510, February 18, 5 p.m. Wendelin in his X–348 November 24, 4 p.m.36 discussing certain details of the closing of the Embassy premises stated “It is assumed that American nationals deciding to remain in the Embassy will have to pay cost of food and other necessary supplies. All other missions have from the first required refugees to pay for meals. British Embassy charges 5 pesetas for food and some other missions considerably more.” The Department in its 206 November 25, 6 p.m.36 replied that it felt that American nationals remaining in Madrid of their own volition should furnish their own food. The Department made no arrangement for the feeding of our employees and guards following the withdrawal of the American staff other than to suggest that the food supplies then remaining, estimated by Wendelin as sufficient to last 100 persons 3 weeks, should be reserved for the use of employees and guards. No authority has therefore been granted anyone to arrange with the International Banking Corporation to purchase food for the persons who have taken shelter in the Embassy either for the account of the Department or the Red Cross fund and no funds are available to meet expenditures for such purpose. If the supplies left in Madrid by Wendelin have been exhausted the Department is willing to authorize the Embassy custodian to purchase food supplies locally for [Page 481] the 16 guards but for no other persons. We consider it wholly impracticable to attempt to send supplies to Madrid from the outside. The Embassy premises will remain open as a place of refuge but we cannot assume any obligation to feed the persons who avail themselves of its shelter.

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