The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Spain (Weddell)
235. Your 510, September 20, 9 p.m.22 We appreciate the reasons you advance in support of giving some concrete indication to the Spanish authorities of the amount of credits or commodities that may be available at this time. We have not undertaken at this stage to discuss the extent of credit facilities and available surplus commodities with the Export-Import Bank and other interested agencies, in view of the many still imponderable factors which are bound to enter into any detailed consideration of this subject. In any event it would probably not be possible to consider extension of credits in any such amount as that mentioned to you by the representative of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, and we are inclined to feel, therefore, that any specific amount that might be mentioned would not lead to any satisfactory results.
What we have in mind is to make it clear to the Spanish Government that we are in fact disposed to give detailed consideration to the extension of credits to Spain to make possible the purchase of foodstuffs and raw materials in this country, such as wheat, cotton, and gasoline, which we understand the Spanish Government is anxious to acquire to meet the domestic requirements and to promote the economic rehabilitation of Spain. Before proceeding further, however, it is necessary that we be assured of the future direction of Spanish policy, as indicated in our no. 229. It would obviously not be possible to give consideration to the extension of credits to Spain if it appeared that that country did not intend to remain outside of the present war, since aside from any other consideration such a development would create a prohibitive credit risk.
It is suggested that you take the opportunity to bring the foregoing basic considerations directly to the attention of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, referring to the recent approach made to you by [Page 810]the representative of the Minister of Industry and Commerce. In so doing you may assure him that in the event that satisfactory assurances are received this Government will be prepared to give immediate detailed consideration to the extension of credits to Spain for the purpose indicated.
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