740.00116 E.W./9–844: Telegram

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

SS24. The following is a full text of the portion of the Ambassador’s memorandum of the conversation he had this morning with the Foreign Minister35 which concerned the subject of Spanish asylum for Axis war criminals:

“I said I had received from Washington a copy of the statement which Ambassador Cardenas had given to the press and which had [Page 1420] been published prominently in leading American newspapers. I was glad the statement had been made. I liked it and thought it would do much good. I was particularly pleased by the sentence in it declaring that Spain had no thought of harboring Axis leaders. I assumed it conformed with the assurances lately given by Sweden. The Minister expressed pleasure. He had told Cardenas that the American people were a democratic people and a people which believed in fair play and that he should keep them informed about the true policy and attitude of Spain. The Minister had himself directed the issuance of the statement and he could assure me that the Government here backed all the points made in it. Spain, like Sweden, would not provide asylum for Axis leaders.”

Repeated to Madrid.

  1. Jose Felix Lequerica, Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs from August 11, 1944.