The Ambassador in Spain ( Hayes ) to the Secretary of State
[Received 11:50 p.m.]
3111. In the course of my interview with General Franco this morning I requested among other things the cessation of the Lufthansa service between Spain and Germany.39 Franco replied that he and the Foreign Minister had been discussing this matter the previous hour and that they were to continue the discussion this afternoon and that he expected that ways and means would be found to comply with my request. I also pressed him about the exclusion of war criminals from Spanish territory. He attempted to pass the matter off by saying that according to his best knowledge no Axis leaders contemplated seeking refuge in Spain; certainly none had arrived to date and he imagined that they would be killed off by suicide or assassination or force of arms before they could ever get away from Germany. I countered with the information contained in the Department’s 2503 of September 9, 6 p.m.,40 regarding the steps being taken by Sweden and impressed upon Franco that a public clarification of Spain’s position would be the best and most practical guarantee against future very embarrassing demands of Spain by the Allies. He agreed also to study this matter jointly with the Foreign Minister.
Repeated to Lisbon and Tangier by courier.