840.48 Refugees/3812: Telegram

The Consul General at Algiers (Wiley) to the Secretary of State

950. From Murphy. Department’s 943, May 15, 9 p.m.73 There is complete agreement here between the French, British, and ourselves that the flow of refugees from Spain should not be interrupted and arrangements are under way with the British Naval Command to insure a regular but limited service to Portuguese ports. The next vessel is scheduled to leave Setubal May 24.

The French authorities naturally prefer to receive refugees of French nationality, although as stated in my 914, May 18, 6 p.m., they have agreed to permit the entry of Allied nationals in small groups and to shelter them until arrangements can be made for their transportation abroad. Arrangements to receive large numbers are pending decision regarding the establishment of the refugee center (see my 729, April 28, 5 [4] p.m., and Department’s 774, April 23, 7 p.m.).

Our figures, however, indicate that, in addition to the six or seven thousand persons of various nationalities mentioned in Department’s 774, the number of refugees alone in Spain exceeds 15,000 including the alleged “Canadians” of French nationality. Recent arrivals, however, consider this estimate is far too low. Consequently a considerable shipping problem is involved which will require consultation with the Combined Chiefs of Staff and probably a directive from them if further facilities are to be made available.

To Department, repeated to London, Lisbon and Madrid. [Murphy.]

  1. See footnote 67, p. 302.