852.2221/1682: Telegram

The Ambassador in Spain ( Weddell ) to the Secretary of State

88. Embassy’s telegram 86, June 20, 7 p.m.91 In my conversation today with the Minister for Foreign Affairs in Burgos I also spoke at [Page 813] some length of American citizens still under imprisonment in Spain. I told the Minister that the number of these I understood to be limited, that their release would seem to mean little to his Government, while such a gracious gesture would have favorable repercussion in the United States. I added that their further detention meant continuous pressure from relatives and others in the United States and offered a fruitful cause of irritation, and from this latter standpoint gave the matter an importance in the relations of the two countries which a problem so easily solved did not merit.

I also pointed out that the Embassy’s note of May 23 [13],91a requesting names, whereabouts and release of prisoners remained unanswered and that this was regrettable; that if, as had been intimated to me (by the Under Secretary) the difficulty arose in the military branch of his Government he, as diplomatist and soldier speaking both [apparent omission] arrange matters; I followed this up by asking him flatly if he would not give the whole subject his personal attention.

The Minister replied by stating that he would give immediate consideration to the matters I brought up, although declaring that any prisoners under condemnation for offenses were in a different category, concluding by remarking that he “hoped for” an early solution of the difficulty.

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