The Spanish Ambassador ( De los Rios ) to the Secretary of State
No. 142/18

Mr. Secretary: In the gravest hour of the struggle for the independence of Spain, invaded by Italy and Germany, I have the honor to state to Your Excellency, in the name of my Government, that the [Page 732] war, whatever may be the vicissitudes of the struggle, will continue without faltering until the foreigners are expelled from Spain. It is therefore not too late to modify the legal situation whereby Spain is deprived of a right of sovereignty, that of purchasing arms; rather, on the contrary, it is urgent, and if it were done its effects, both military and political, would be immediate. As the enemies, with their powerful means of propaganda, attempt to appear as if they had already achieved definitive victory, and do so for the purpose of paralyzing noble impulses of democratic countries which might lead the latter to revoke the historic injustice which has been committed on the Spanish Republic, the Spanish Government states that it is exclusively the lack of war matériel, which according to indisputable principles of international law, it ought to be able to acquire in countries with which it maintains normal relations, that renders difficult the struggle with the rebels and with the invading foreign armies provided with the most modern materiel in unlimited quantities.

My Government, therefore, has the moral duty of believing, in view of the most noble words spoken before the Congress on the fourth day of this month by the Illustrious President of the United States and the unequivocal manifestations of the public opinion of this country, that the Government of which Your Excellency forms a part will act with the greatest promptness possible and will raise the embargo on arms which weighs on the Government of the Spanish Republic, to the end that the coalition of aggressive forces which is acting against Spain with unheard-of violence may not de facto be strengthened and indirectly assisted by the country which has declared solemnly, by the Supreme Magistrate of the United States, that it adopts as the norm of its international course of action the just differentiation between aggressors and those against whom aggression is directed.

I avail myself [etc.]

Fernando de los Rios