The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Spain (Weddell)
290. Your 606, October 31, 9 p.m. In view of the statements made to you by the new Foreign Minister with regard to the “political solidarity” of Spain with Germany and Italy, the Department considers it undesirable for you to make any renewed efforts for an interview with General Franco.
In view of the request which you have already made for an interview, however, should General Franco give you an audience, the Department desires you to make the following points clear: [Page 827]
- Any food supplies which might be distributed for civilian relief in Spain by the American Red Cross would be purchased with funds pertaining to the United States Government and not to the Red Cross itself.
- As the Spanish Government is aware, it is the policy of the Government of the United States to furnish all possible assistance to the British Government in its present struggle against aggression.
- If the “political solidarity” with Germany and Italy referred to by the Foreign Minister in his conversation with you is to be interpreted as assistance to be given by Spain to Germany and Italy in their war against Great Britain such as naval bases, facilities, or any other kind of help, direct or indirect, it would manifestly be impossible for the Government of the United States to lend assistance to Spain through the expenditure of governmental funds, however meritorious under normal conditions the object for which such funds would be spent might be.
- The suggestion for relief which was under consideration by this Government was premised upon the maintenance by Spain of an absolutely neutral attitude and this Government regrets to be drawn to the conclusion that the statements made to you by the Spanish Foreign Minister indicate very clearly that the Spanish Government under the new conditions which have arisen seems to have no intention of maintaining such an attitude.
For your confidential information, while the Department has given the fullest measure of consideration to the arguments which you advance in support of the taking of steps for the furnishing of relief to Spain, the points above mentioned would seem to furnish conclusive reason why this Government can no longer give favorable consideration to this proposal. Public opinion in the United States is almost unanimously opposed to the undertaking by the American Red Cross of such activities in Spain and likewise to the furnishing by the Government of the United States of the funds necessary for such purpose.