852.75 National Telephone Co./277: Telegram

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

112. I today talked in St. Jean de Luz with Behn who has just returned from Berlin. All he heard on this visit makes him feel that war is expected and will probably break out in August. He also learned while in Berlin from Siemens Halske and other and semiofficial sources that German influences are back of his exclusion from Spain, that the Spanish Government is now discussing with the German Government the installation of a telephone-telegraph network, German technicians and German material to be employed therein and that he is not wanted in Spain until all arrangements have been concluded.

The desire to forestall this general plan and to arrive in Spain before the outbreak of a general European conflict make him anxious to enter promptly.

Behn states he is immediately returning to Berlin “to see Goering” and feels that in his discussions with German authorities concerning his interests in other countries, Rumania for example, he would be embarrassed were he to assert their helplessness in the matter of entry into Spain since they would probably seize on this to bargain and this he wished to avoid, the seeming implication of his remarks being that he might be forced to do this. He added that Siemens Halske told him that on account of their cartel arrangements with his company they are not sympathetic to the policy of their Government in Spain in this matter but were powerless.

I told Behn of the interest of our Government in his cause and of my intention to interview the Chief of the State on the subject for which, as for the Embassy’s previous efforts, he expressed lively gratitude, but reiterated his uneasiness lest such an arrangement as outlined above be concluded between Spain and Germany or that a war break out or both before he was admitted, a situation which he would deplore.