852.75 National Telephone Co./351: Telegram

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

95. My 94, April 23, 9 p.m.82 In a conversation with Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs last night he stated that the Spanish Ambassador in Washington had already begun negotiations to obtain 100,000 tons of wheat. He continued that “now that the telephone company case was satisfactorily settled”, since we have made it clear that the question of the personnel of the telephone company was not at issue, that he would appreciate my sending a telegram to the Department to “facilitate” the Spanish Ambassador’s representations.

I remarked in reply that as regards the telephone case there had been many words but very little action. He replied that he could assure me that the telephone case was now satisfactorily settled and that any new personnel which the company [apparent omission] might immediately go to work. I remarked that I hoped soon to take up an important subsidiary matter, the question of a fair trial and opportunity to present a full defense for the members of the telephone company who had been ordered expelled by the Spanish authorities. He replied that the Minister would be glad to discuss this with me later but remarked that the right of expulsion on the part of any Government was well recognized “with or without trial”. Apparently as an afterthought he asked that I include in my telegram to the Department the request that the supply of nickel for minting Spanish coins (see my telegram 19, January 25, 8 p.m.82) also be expedited. In this connection he added that it was his opinion that this matter had not made any progress because the American Government feared that nickel supplied to Spain might be sent to Germany. This he said incorrect since the nickel was desired only for Spanish coins.

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Since I feel that the question of any further credits to the Spanish Government should be included in the larger question of the eventual settlement of a number of pending problems between the two countries, I venture to suggest that any decision regarding the matters referred to by the Under Secretary be deferred pending my arrival in the United States. Am planning to sail on Roma May 7th from Lisbon.

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