852.75 National Telephone Co./379: Telegram

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

448. My 437, August 6, 7 p.m. Behn has returned to Madrid and states after consultation with his attorneys that the annual meeting of the Telephone Company cannot be legally held before 30 days’ notice has been given to stockholders. In the meantime he has made several unsuccessful efforts to see Suñer in order to obtain the latter’s approval of the new directors which should have been elected at a directors’ meeting scheduled for today and which is also to set the date for the annual meeting. He has also submitted a full list of new directors to be elected at the annual meeting but in view of Suñer’s delaying tactics has been unable to receive any assurances that either of these lists would be acceptable to the Spanish Government. Behn also had an interview with the Foreign Minister with whom he discussed recent developments in detail and who assured him that he would “talk” to Suñer about the matter. Behn, however, received the impression that the Foreign Minister would prove of doubtful assistance in view of his lack of influence.

In spite of the assurances given me by the Foreign Minister and in view of a complete lack of any worthwhile indication of a change of heart on the part of the Minister of Gobernación, I am the more convinced that the Telephone Company case will only be settled by continued and unrelenting pressure on our part combined with an absolute refusal to discuss any needs of the Spanish Government particularly including gasoline until a satisfactory solution is reached. I will, therefore, in the absence of favorable developments in the meantime renew my request tomorrow for an immediate interview with Franco and in the meantime will again recommend to the Department that there be no departure from our present attitude of refusing to consider or discuss any Spanish desires until such time as a final and satisfactory solution of the Telephone Company case is arrived at.