124.521/171: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Counselor of Embassy in Spain (Thurston)

512. Your 1173, January 18, 10 a.m. Our reference to return of staff to Barcelona and use of naval vessel was based upon implications of section (a) of your 1166.

Subject to unforeseen developments we shall expect you to follow Spanish Government if it removes to some other place in Spain, provided you feel at that time that such action is safe and practicable. In the meantime we do not feel that it would be advisable to remove Embassy staff to France. If critical situation develops before actual departure of Spanish Government from Barcelona we should expect you to transfer Embassy and Consulate staffs together with codes, files, and essential equipment on board an American naval vessel which Admiral Lackey is authorized to order to Caldetas whenever you so request. We feel that with respect to codes and files this procedure would be preferable in any event from the point of view of safety.

As stated in our 506, January 16, 7 p.m., consideration will be given to returning consular staff to Barcelona on naval vessel if the city is occupied by Franco forces. We are informed that entire naval squadron is at Villefranche and would be available if more than one vessel should be needed.