852.48/496: Telegram

The Ambassador in France ( Bullitt ) to the Secretary of State

2268. For Bishop Francis J. McConnell,69 381 Fourth Avenue, New York City. Your September 25, regarding Spanish refugees in France. Competent French authorities inform me that at the beginning of the war there remained approximately 82,500 Spanish militiamen and 100,000 old men, women and children. Spanish Government circularized all refugees inviting them to return to Spain giving assurance that if repatriated they would have nothing to fear if they were not guilty of crime. Up to the present it does not appear that a large number of these refugees have elected to return to Spain. A considerable number of the civilians apparently are members of the families of the soldiers now in the concentration camps. The French Government has decided to repatriate all Spanish refugee children whose parents are now in Spain. All adults are repatriated if they express the desire to return. Of the 82,500 militiamen 42,000 are now in two concentration camps, 16,000 are employed in agriculture or industry and are thus self-supporting, and 24,500 are engaged in public works projects.

According to the Foreign Office there is no doubt but that the Spanish refugees are still in need even though the French Government is making every effort as it has in the past to assure them living conditions as favorable as possible.

  1. Chairman, Spanish Refugee Relief Campaign.