740.0011 European War 1939/25321: Telegram

The Chargé at Tangier (Childs) to the Secretary of State

560. My British colleague called on me a few moments ago to state that he had been yesterday instructed to seek out General Orgaz at 2 a.m. this morning in order to give him certain assurances concerning the peaceful intentions of the British Government toward Spain in connection with the American landing in French North Africa.

He showed me a copy of the statement he had been instructed to read to Orgaz which he said had been drafted by the American and [Page 511]British Government and British Embassy Madrid. He added he had been specifically instructed not to disclose purport of his message from his Government before it had been delivered to anyone including myself.

My British colleague stated that in the absence of Orgaz in Madrid he had delivered the message to General Mugica, Acting High Commissioner, with whom he had succeeded in establishing contact at 2 a.m. as instructed. Mugica evidenced great surprise and is stated to have remarked rather plaintively that it was a pity Orgaz was not in Morocco. He asked where the landings were taking place to which Gascoigne replied that he was not informed. Gascoigne stated to me that in his journey to and from Tetuán the zone appeared quite normal and that this was also the impression of the British Consul in Tetuán.

Inasmuch as the absence of any specific assurance from the American representatives in Spanish North Africa such as I was authorized to make by the Department’s 20187 might be misinterpreted in view of the assurances made by my British colleague, I am proceeding at once to Tetuán to convey them to Mugica.

Childs
  1. Dated October 29, 11 a.m., p. 507.