852.2221/1508 Telegram

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

B–488. Your 589, March 2, 1 p.m. We do not fully understand your telegram since it appears that it is proposed that an American naval vessel be used to transport Italian prisoners in the hands of the Spanish Government from Alicante to some other place. If this is, in fact, the case you should make it clear that this Government cannot authorize the use of American naval vessels for the transportation of Italian combatants from Spain. In this connection it would seem that arrangements might be made between the two sides in Spain, either directly or through some interested organization such as the International Red Cross, for the transportation of Italian prisoners of war from Spain, especially in view of your indication that assurances regarding the ship would probably be given by the Burgos authorities.