740.0011 European War 1939/5683: Telegram

The Diplomatic Agent and Consul General at Tangier (White) to the Secretary of State

20. Whatever the reasons for alleged bombardment of Dakar, e. g., report that it was to become German submarine base, from Morocco standpoint the incident appears unfortunate. It should serve to widen breach between British and French administrations (yesterday Goold was urged at Rabat to do his utmost to prevent Anglo-French incidents) [Page 592] and tends to bring the war nearer Morocco—by way of illustration my colleague of Holland tells me he saw 4 Swastika and 7 Italian planes flying south about 1 p.m. and that his gardener saw others early this morning.62

As the newly appointed Spanish Consul General, late Chief of European Division of Spanish Foreign Office, observed, this war will not be decided in Morocco, it is the fate of this country that will be settled by the future peace conference, therefore it is better that the Atlantic coast of Africa be left quiet.

Spanish businessman just returned from Madrid told Doolittle63 Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs had assured him that so long as he remained in office Spain would not enter hostilities.

The Consul General of Spain also said that Suñer’s64 trip had a purely party (Falangist) significance.

  1. In telegram No. 36, October 27, 10 a.m., the Consul at Dakar reported that no German airplanes had arrived at Dakar. No mention was made of any Italian planes.
  2. Hooker A. Doolittle, First Secretary and Consul of the Diplomatic Agency and Consulate General at Tangier.
  3. Ramón Serrano Suñer, Spanish Minister of Interior and executive head of the Falangist Party; he became Minister for Foreign Affairs in October 1940.