740.0011 European War 1939/2961: Telegram

The Chargé in Spain (Bucknell) to the Secretary of State

124. My telegram No. 122, May 14, 7 p.m.3 Suñer4 told Behn5 tonight that he was fearful that Italy would enter the war on the side of Germany “at any moment”. He insisted that Spain would maintain her neutrality in this event and that he was certain that Italy would not attack the Balearics or other Spanish territory and stated that Spain would defend her integrity against any attack “by other powers”. He would make no reply to a direct question as to whether Spain would defend the Balearics against an Italian attack beyond stating that he was certain that Italy would not launch such an attack. He displayed a considerable anti-British attitude and appeared extremely interested in the possibility of the United States’ eventual entry into the war indicating however that he believed that such entry was highly improbable.

[Page 796]

I am confidentially informed by the Minister of Marine that four classes have been called up in the Balearics tonight.

The French Naval Attaché informed me tonight that the Allies were denying a report that they contemplated an attack on the Balearics or other Spanish territory. He displayed considerable anxiety as to the possibility that Italy might consider the present time favorable for some hostile action particularly toward Yugoslavia.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Serrano Suñer, Spanish Minister of Interior.
  3. Sosthenes Behn, president of the International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation.