740.0011 European War 1939/17844: Telegram

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

1098. The Chilean Ambassador tells me that after obtaining the approval of his Government and after conference with various American colleagues as well as with the British Ambassador, he is interviewing the diplomatic representatives of all American countries represented here with a view to inducing them to urge upon their respective Governments that they be authorized to make known to [Page 53] the Spanish Government their Government’s lively interest in the maintenance of the present non-belligerency of this country; in a word to exert their individual influence on Franco and his Cabinet to hold Spain [to?] present policy. At the same time Spain would be informed that the various American countries would endeavor to see that Spain’s needs for raw materials and manufactured goods be met so long as it remained outside the Axis.

I told my Chilean colleague that I thought my country desired at least the maintenance of Spain’s present international attitude and I could say further that we were disposed to help Spain in her economic difficulties having regard to our own needs but that nothing we might do must be susceptible of aid to the Axis.

The British Ambassador tells me that the Chilean and [apparent omission] Ambassadors called together on him to tell him of the above plan and that he had told them that he approved it in its general lines and that he was so informing his Government.

I consider the general idea a good one since the views of the various American countries along the lines indicated would have a powerful effect in official circles here. I would like to be authorized to inform the Chilean Ambassador of our favorable attitude toward the action being taken. Representations if made would be on behalf of all the American Republics represented here except the United States.