The Spanish Ambassador (De los Bios) to the Secretary of State
No. 142/16

Mr. Secretary: I have the honor of asking Your Excellency to communicate the following message to the President of the United States, addressed to him by the Prime Minister of the Spanish Republic:

“Mr. President: Permit me to express my wholehearted accord with the contents of your splendid speech. The Spanish people and their government fully endorse it. It is for the principles expressed therein, and for no others, that we have fought for two years and a half. The foes of democracy and of liberty have tried to deceive the world regarding the significance of our struggle. To this end they have resorted to crafty provocation within Spain and to the spread of false propaganda among men of good will. Their machinations and calumnies have been effective; but our tenacity and resistance are furnishing the time needed to thwart their purpose.

Feeling the necessity of speeding up events, our enemies are bending every effort to bring about our defeat immediately. At the same time that they carry out terrific offenses at the front, they strive to terrorize our rearguard. Our cities, which have little or no defense, are devastated every day; our civilian population is murdered by German and Italian airplane squadrons manned by pilots from those two nations. Our fronts are attacked by Italian divisions, by corps of German technicians and by troops of African mercenaries, with an abundance of war material the like of which had never been seen in any war.

Our people make superhuman efforts; but if our men have to go on without weapons, our cities and forts without cannon and our people without food, there can be but one outcome. However strong their spirit, a hungry people cannot halt the advance of totalitarianism. Our enemy counts on every factor; on weariness and exhaustion. Blockaded by its enemies, with whom neutral and friendly countries cooperate, Spain cannot struggle indefinitely against the economic and military power of Germany and Italy.

Let the withdrawal of German and Italian aggressors be enforced; let us receive economic and material means for our defense and we will be able to determine the outcome of the war ourselves.

We have given good proof of our convictions by withdrawing our foreign volunteers.

Mr. President, the outcome of the struggle in Spain will decide what Europe and South America will be; therefore, it will determine the course of the world that is to be. History will be severe toward those statesmen who have shut their eyes to evidence and toward those whose indecision in this critical hour leads them to risk the principles of tolerance, harmony, liberty and high morale justly attributed to democracy in Your Excellency’s speech. Every minute lost in adopting adequate measures is a river of blood and sorrow; but it is also one more trench lost by the cause of liberty and justice. I am certain [Page 718] of our victory; but should Fate and the impassivity of others prevent it, we shall resist until we are annihilated. Should we perish, we would have at least fulfilled our duty, as a national collectivity, toward our historic mission and, as individuals, toward the dictates of our conscience.

Mr. President, your words, imbued with religious and human emotion, give us spirit and courage.

In Spain’s name, and in my own name, I thank you. (signed) Juan Negrin.”

Accept [etc.]

Fernando de los Rios