852.48/750: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador Spain (Weddell)

257. Your 553, October 16, 7 p.m. In view of the change in Foreign Ministers, please request an interview with the Caudillo and state [Page 823] that in view of the wording of the legislation authorizing the President to distribute supplies for foreign civilian relief, this Government suggests the following statement in place of the statement submitted to you by the former Minister for Foreign Affairs:

“In accordance with the suggestion of the President of the United States, the American Red Cross has offered to the chief of the Spanish State the shipment to Spain of a cargo of wheat or flour to meet the most immediate needs of the civilian population. President Roosevelt, aware of the foodstuffs difficulties of the Spanish people, has authorized the Red Cross to make the necessary shipment of supplies to be purchased with funds made available to him for foreign civilian relief. Representatives of the American Red Cross will visit Spain to cooperate with the Spanish Red Cross and other charitable interested Spanish organizations in the allocation and distribution of supplies.”

You should make it very clear that this statement is predicated upon the assurances already given to you by General Franco and in no way supersedes or modifies the agreement which you originally reached orally with General Franco. The legislation adopted by the Congress authorizing the President to utilize funds from the appropriation of fifty million dollars for the purchase of supplies for foreign civilian relief makes obligatory supervision as to allocation and distribution by the President’s agent, namely, the American Red Cross. The American Red Cross will make every effort to ship the supplies to such port as may be desired by the Spanish authorities, further information on this point to be telegraphed to you later.