The Ambassador in Spain ( Bowers ), Then in France, to the Secretary of State
[Received March 30—10 a.m.]
469. Ernest Hemingway came to see me regarding evacuation of such American nurses and surgeons as can be spared and may leave, and of the American wounded in hospitals. He reports 30 wounded in Barcelona that can be evacuated on 2 days notice; 382 in hospitals, Beni Casim on Valencia coast and Villa Paz at Saelices on main Madrid-Valencian highway near Tarancon; and 125 in Murcia. These he said can be evacuated through Alicante on 6 days notice.
The French offer to evacuate any American wounded and hospital personnel and non-combatants before American ships can be sent. All evacuations if made to Marseille after which ours is the problem of repatriation. Hemingway suggests that money necessary may be had from the Medical Bureau for Aid of Spanish Democracy, from Friends of the Lincoln Brigade, et cetera. Believe all this important in event collapse, since danger otherwise of massacre of wounded and of incidents involving personnel of hospitals, doctors and nurses, here properly with our consent. Would appreciate Department’s attitude toward this evacuation phase.
2. Rebels’ overwhelming advantage in German and Italian artillery and planes makes defence almost impossible. Exaggeration of propaganda about Russia’s participation evident, in fact no Russian guns or planes have been sent to offset those from Germany and Italy. Reliably informed this due to Government’s unfriendly attitude toward Russian suggestions and Prieto’s hostility. French guns very recently sent in but without trained men familiar with their operation. About 30 French planes, not of the best, sent in very recently. Not enough to affect the 700 most modern German and Italian planes in charge of German and Italian officers.