852.48/745a: Telegram

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

243. Your 528, September 30, 11 p.m., and 531, October 3, 9 p.m. The President is ready to request the American Red Cross, acting on behalf of the Government of the United States, to undertake at once the shipment of a quantity of wheat to Spain to meet the immediate urgent needs of civilian population.

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The Spanish Government will understand the necessity from our point of view of having assurances on the following points before initiating this program:

No wheat from any source is being or will be exported from Spain;
The American Red Cross will be permitted, in cooperation with the Spanish Red Cross or such other Spanish organization as the American Red Cross may designate, to supervise and handle the arrangements for distribution of this wheat to the needy population of Spam;
The Spanish press will be informed and permitted to give full publicity to these shipments of wheat from the United States, including details regarding the arrangements that may be made for distribution in Spain.

It is suggested that you request the Minister of Foreign Affairs to arrange an immediate interview with General Franco at which the Minister will also be present. The purpose of this interview would be to obtain the concurrence of the chief of the Spanish State in this action which the President of the United States is prepared to take to assist in meeting the urgent food requirements of Spain, as well as his personal assurance that the Government of Spain is prepared to cooperate in the manner set forth in the foregoing three points.

A separate telegram will be sent to you later with regard to the question of extension of credits to Spain by agencies of this Government. It would seem advisable and more expeditious not to treat together the question of credits and the attendant problem of our commercial relations with Spain, and the present proposal for urgent humanitarian relief in that country.