Memorandum of Conversation, by the Under Secretary of State (Welles)
The British Ambassador79 called to see me this morning at his request. The Ambassador left with me the aide-mémoire attached herewith80 in which he requests, by instruction of his Government, that this Government undertake to make representations to the Spanish Government, through the Spanish Ambassador in Washington,81 with regard to the unduly favorable treatment accorded Axis submarines in Spanish ports by the Spanish authorities and with regard [Page 324] to three German ships now in the port of Vigo, which it is suspected may be used by the Germans for refueling purposes. The Ambassador said that this request was made as a result of a secret message from the British Ambassador in Madrid82 alleging that the Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs had stated that his own hand would be strengthened in dealing with these questions if the United States Government made representations in this way.
I told the Ambassador that this Government would be very glad to comply with the suggestions made.