852.2221/1534: Telegram

The Chargé in Spain ( Thurston ), Then in France, to the Secretary of State

601. Embassy’s 597, March 18, 3 p.m. In response to an inquiry addressed to Wallner77 regarding the possibility of arrangements being made at Valencia for the removal of the Italian prisoners, I have received from him the following telegram:

“19. March 18, noon. Your March 15, 11 a.m., apparently concerns a proposed exchange under the auspices of the International Red Cross of 170-odd Italians against an equal number of International Brigade prisoners in which 41 Americans are included. The Negrin Government suspended all exchanges late in February and the International Red Cross delegate in Madrid has asked the consent of the National Defense Council to the departure of the Italians. If the Council agrees the Italians will be carried to Palma de Mallorca by British naval vessel.”

I am informing Wallner that the exchange affects 81 Americans, in order that he may so advise the International Red Cross delegate in Madrid to the end that if necessary the number of Italians be increased to balance this figure.

  1. Vice Consul at Valencia.