740.00112 EW 1939/5783: Telegram

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

746. The Minister Counselor of the British Embassy, in the absence of Ambassador, called to tell me of the receipt of a telegram from the British Embassy Washington indicating a difference of opinion between the European and Near Eastern Divisions in the Department concerning the desirability of our conducting separate economic conversations with General Orgaz in Spanish Morocco. The Minister [Page 467] expressed very serious objection to the principle of separate conversations with General Orgaz, who he incidentally said was pro-German, and said he intended to telegraph London and Washington, objecting in detail to the conversations.

I am unaware to what extent the subject has been discussed with the British Embassy in Washington, and I therefore have not expressed any opinion on the subject to the British Embassy. However, on the basis of information contained in copies of despatches et cetera received from the Legation at Tangier I see no objection in principle to conducting separate conversations with General Orgaz. On the contrary I see possible advantages in such conversations so long as no effort is made, under existing conditions at least, to induce General Orgaz to adopt an attitude which would be displeasing to the Madrid Government.

The Minister Counselor’s reference to Orgaz’ alleged pro-German leanings does not agree with previous opinions expressed by the British Embassy or with opinion expressed recently by Childs.

If Department wishes me to discuss this matter with the British Embassy I should appreciate being instructed what I should say.

Repeated to Tangier.