740.0011 European War 1939/26831: Telegram

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

926. My 881, December 22, 10 p.m. General Orgaz informed me this afternoon he would be very happy to meet General Patton at the frontier at Arbaoua on any day between now and January 8th with the exception of January 1st, 3rd and 6th. He is leaving for Madrid the 8th. When questioned he expressed a preference for the 4th or 5th but stated he would make his plans to conform with the convenience of General Patton. Orgaz said he wished [to give?] to General Patton and the members of his staff who may accompany him a luncheon at Larache where he and General Patton would be able to talk together. He asked me to let him know as soon as possible the date and approximate hour for the rendezvous at the frontier and the names, rank and order of seniority of the accompanying officers.

Orgaz stated he expected I would also be present and that I would also be his guest for lunch. I thanked him and stated it was my understanding the meeting was a purely military one and for that reason I would be unable to accept his kind invitation. He was insistent and said “I expect you to be present if only in a private capacity”. In view of his insistence I felt I might give offense and that he might misinterpret my insistence on being unable to be present. I therefore would appreciate urgently the Department’s instructions.

Orgaz said he would like to be informed by General Patton as to what military ceremonies he might desire and if there were any particular dishes he could offer him. I stated it was my understanding the visit was to be effected with as little ceremony as possible and that I would be happy to convey his gracious intentions to General Patton. Orgaz added he had only the simple fare of a soldier to give General Patton but he wished to receive him with all the courtesies and hospitality which a Spanish officer might offer.

I informed him General Patton wished Major Bernadoni, Assistant Military Attaché to be present as interpreter. Silvela, Spanish Consul who speaks perfect English who was acting as interpreter for me will also be present at Orgaz’s orders.

Repeated to Algiers for Murphy, to Casablanca for the necessary information to be telegraphed to us as soon as possible and to Madrid.