352.3715/29: Telegram

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

X–520. The Cuban Chargé d’Affaires at Madrid has addressed an oral message to me inquiring whether the refugees now in his Embassy may be evacuated from Valencia to Marseille on an American naval vessel. He is also taking up the matter with the Secretary of State at Habana.

I sent word to the Chargé d’Affaires that I would refer his request to the Department, but pointed out that we maintain no vessels in Spanish waters and that of the few otherwise available not all are suitable for such work.

There are 450 refugees in the Cuban Embassy. They will be evacuated in groups of 50 or 60. Women, children, and men over military age will be sent out first. Refugees of military age will remain in the Embassy pending the result of negotiations looking to their continued residence in France.