124.521/174: Telegram

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

1183. The rebel advance on Barcelona continues and apparently is encountering but feeble resistance. The lines are believed by Colonel Cheadle21 to run near Montserrat and Martorell—thus virtually impinging on the Government’s last defences along the Llobregat River. Whether this natural line and the fortifications and entrenchments being erected along it will serve to check the advance is problematical. Most observers are of the opinion that they will not and that the fall of Barcelona is but a matter of days if not hours.

Alvarez del Vayo is still absent and the Diplomatic Corps has received no formal advices regarding developments or the Government’s plans. Negrin has informed the French Ambassador however that the Government will when compelled to leave Barcelona first go to Gerona and he recommended that the Ambassador take quarters nearby. The Ambassador will leave by sea for France when the Government abandons Barcelona as will the British Minister although both will I understand seek to reestablish contact with the Government. [Page 728] The Norwegian and Swedish Chargé d’Affaires (the latter’s Legation was damaged slightly last night by a bombardment of the outskirts of Caldetas) will leave for France in the morning by automobile.

I am in communication with Admiral Lackey who will arrive off Caldetas tomorrow forenoon with the USS Omaha and a destroyer. The Consulate General will evacuate about 30 American citizens. I shall remain ashore and in contact with the Government as long as possible and will report as usual.

  1. Military Attaché in Spain.