711.00111 Unlawful Shipment/Fritz Bieler, et al/10: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in Mexico (Boal)

1. Have just issued statement to the press as follows:

“The Acting Secretary of State, Mr. R. Walton Moore, this morning stated to the correspondents that the Government of Mexico has determined that airplanes of American make shall not be shipped from that country to Spain. He quoted from a statement received January 2nd by the American Embassy at Mexico City from the Mexican Foreign Office as a statement from the Government of Mexico to the Government of the United States with permission to publish. The statement reads as follows:

‘The Government of Mexico has indeed supplied war materials of its own manufacture to the Government of Spain; however, with regard to war materials of foreign origin it has been its unalterable position that it would not serve as intermediary if the Government of the nation concerned did not furnish its full consent thereto. Firmly in accordance with this line of conduct, the Mexican authorities will not permit airplanes or any other war material whatever coming from the United States to be sent to Spain through Mexico, even in the case of acquisitions made by corporations or private parties.’

The Acting Secretary of State said that the action of the Mexican Government is a voluntary and most friendly recognition of the noninterference policy of the Administration and not the result of any protest made by the United States. ‘In fact’, Mr. Moore said, ‘there is no ground on which we could have legitimately protested, since there is no treaty provision that applies and no statute to which we could point. The American policy is simply the President’s announcement of the Government’s attitude and an appeal to the people of the United States to refrain from any direct or indirect participation in the bloody Spanish civil war now in progress. The law does not equip the President with authority to enforce the policy or punish its violation.’”

We greatly appreciate the splendid cooperation of the Mexican Government and wish you to so state to the Foreign Office.