852.75 National Telephone Co./327

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Adviser on Political Relations (Dunn)

The Spanish Ambassador71 came in this morning. After taking up with me another matter which related to the Bellanca planes now in Mexico, I told the Ambassador of the telegram we had received from our Ambassador in Madrid under date of March 14th, to the effect that the Spanish Government had, within the last few weeks, just about come to the point of making an arrangement with Colonel Behn with respect to the operation of the National Spanish Telephone System, but that last week, according to Mr. Weddell, the Spanish Cabinet had revised its position and was now presenting new difficulties with respect to the settlement of this question.

I told the Ambassador that I knew he was conversant with the difficulties Colonel Behn and the American management of the telephone company in Spain had met in trying to arrive at an arrangement which would permit them to resume the operation of the telephones [Page 863] in Spain in accordance with their contract, and that although I understood all of these matters had been handled directly in Madrid, I did want him to know the tone of the telegram which the Secretary had sent to Mr. Weddell upon hearing of the new obstacles brought up by the Spanish Government. I told the Ambassador that we were completely at a loss to account for this reported change of attitude taken by the Spanish Government and there was a distinct feeling on the part of this Government that it was high time now after all of these delays that the Spanish Government come to an understanding with the American Telephone officials which would permit of a reasonable and fair settlement of this matter.

The Ambassador stated that he knew of the difficulties which had been encountered by the American Telephone officials in this regard, that he had, for his part, urged that a settlement of the question be reached as soon as possible, and that he would again so advise his Government.

James Clement Dunn
  1. Juan Francisco de Cárdenas.