852.24/730: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Bullitt) to the Secretary of State

970. Bonnet said to me this morning that he was being pressed extremely hard by the Spanish Government to reopen the French frontier to shipments of airplanes, munitions and other implements of war.

The Spanish Ambassador last evening had said to him that the Spanish Government had made arrangements for the immediate purchase of 100 planes in the United States and their immediate shipment to Spain via France. He had alleged that the Government of the United States fully approved the shipment of these planes to the Spanish Government and that it was only the decision of the French Government to keep the frontier closed that prevented the Spanish Government from receiving this important aid.

Bonnet added that he would be greatly embarrassed if the American Government should request the French Government to permit the shipment of these planes or other implements of war through France to Spain.

I replied that I had received no intimation whatsoever that our Government had altered its policy of refusing export licenses for planes and munitions to Spain and that I was compelled to believe that the statement of the Spanish Ambassador with regard to the approval of the American Government for the shipment of planes or other implements of war and munitions to Spain was founded on nothing more substantial than a wish.

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Bonnet answered that it would be most valuable to him to have authoritative information on this point immediately. As we are dining together this evening I should be greatly obliged if the Department could send me a brief telegram on this subject.