740.0011 European War 1939/10795: Telegram

The Chargé in Colombia (Keith) to the Secretary of State

143. With reference to the Department’s circular telegram April 29, 10 p.m., Foreign Minister13 has just informed me

“The Government of Colombia discreetly sounded out Spanish Government as to whether it would be agreeable to latter if the Ibero-American nations should request that Spain should preserve its neutrality in the present conflict.

The Spanish Foreign Office confidentially answered that this action would be very welcome being in harmony with the aspirations of Hispanidad but that it could not venture opinion as to the attitude Spam would assume in response to this action because of the supposition that this might favor a belligerent nation (Great Britain) and that Spain’s situation was very difficult at this moment in view of its geographical position between the frontiers of France and Portugal [Page 52] and the possible intervention of the United States in the European war. Spain also expressed the guess that the United States might have undertaken this initiative.”

The above is a translation of handwritten memorandum the Minister gave me. It will be observed that it refers to the Ibero-American nations although originally when presenting the subject I clearly specified the idea of individual approach. The Minister remarked that while the Spanish Foreign Office indicated it would welcome the action he knew that they would attach conditions, one of them being recognition of the common bonds of Hispanidad to which Colombia did not wish to tie itself.

  1. Luis López de Mesa.