The Secretary of State to the Chargé in France (Wilson)
Washington, April 9, 1938—1 p.m.
209. Your 549, April 6, 8 p.m.
- There are no appropriated funds available for repatriation of American volunteers from Spain. Red Cross funds previously made available to Department for repatriation destitute Americans nearly exhausted and moreover these funds were contributed on understanding they would not be used for repatriation persons who had proceeded to Spain after outbreak present conflict for service in armed forces of that country.
- Department has not been approached by organizations in this country interested in American volunteers in Spain. Although you do not specifically say so, it is assumed that Mowrer and others are in touch with these organizations. As stated in our No. 436 of April 1, 6 p.m. it would seem desirable that funds be provided and arrangements made without delay by these interested organizations and individuals for repatriation of American volunteers who may reach France in destitute condition.
- For your own information it is not the Department’s practice to intervene to protect or assist Americans serving with Spanish military forces contrary to our policy of strict non-interference in internal affairs of another country. We have, however, accepted funds from persons or organizations in this country for transmission through consulates outside Spain to such Americans who may have been able to leave that country. Upon receipt of necessary information Department is prepared to communicate with relatives, friends or organizations in this country on behalf of such persons and transmit funds for their repatriation through appropriate consular office abroad. Marseille has been so advised.
- In event of collapse of Spanish Government, Americans evacuated from Spanish ports on naval vessels would be landed at nearest available port outside of Spain, probably Marseille. Navy Department has instructed Admiral Lackey that Raleigh should remain at Villefranche or immediate vicinity in view of uncertain conditions.
- Please repeat together with your 549 of April 6, 8 p.m. to Bowers and Barcelona.