124.521/178: Telegram

The Ambassador in Spain ( Bowers ), Then in France, to the Secretary of State

571. Your telegram No. B–476, January 26, 6 p.m. last sentence.27

1. Del Vayo called me from Perpignan 4 days ago to say war would continue against the foreign aggression. My fixed conviction is that so long as the constitutional Government in possession of the national capital and seven provinces and with an army of 700,000 men continues to function and to fight we should maintain our Americanist position which is based on our traditional policy and refuse to be blackmailed into any form of recognition of the Fascist government.

[Page 734]

Thurston’s reference in his telegram of January 28, 10 a.m.28 to the advice of the Chargé d’Affaires of a certain nation to his Government was foreshadowed 18 months ago in my reports. We cannot afford to rush to the recognition of a crime never so flagrant as now with the machine gunning of women and children refugees by Italian and German aviators.

I therefore respectfully urge that we do not deviate one hair’s breadth from our present position and that pending further developments we do all possible to continue contact with the legal Government.

I shall go to Perpignan this week to see Thurston and others.

2. New Czechoslovak Chargé d’Affaires accredited to Franco under pressure from Hitler last Friday but for 5 months commercial agent in Burgos looks for serious factional disturbances should Franco win. Understands in Burgos that Chamberlain-Mussolini conference decided on Juan for King in hope of reconciling nobility and church to extreme Fascist system. Chamberlain’s plea for Alfonso rejected by Mussolini.

He says that the Czechoslovak factories are now working day and night making war material for Hitler.

Bowers
  1. Not printed; the last sentence stated that the Secretary of State would welcome any recommendations the Ambassador might have as to the most effective way to maintain representation in the future in the light of recent developments (124.521/177).
  2. Not printed.