711.52/321a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant)

750. Personal for the Ambassador. Your 722, January 27, 2 p.m. and 768, January 28, 2 p.m.35 The Department does not understand [Page 309] the suggestion that statements reporting suspension of oil shipments to Spain may run counter to united economic front theory regarding Spain. The British Government clearly has been in agreement as to this action and has in fact proposed, in its telegram of January 22 to Lord Halifax,36 that additional measures be taken to create serious administrative delays in granting Spain import facilities generally except in foodstuffs, such commodities as are already subject to limitations satisfactory to us, and imports from Spanish territory outside the Peninsula.

If it is your thought that Mr. Eden37 is rather disturbed from the publicity angle, you may state that we have worked as closely as possible with the British Embassy here, keeping it as promptly informed of developments as has been possible. We furnished the Embassy in advance a summary of a statement which it was proposed to make to the Spanish Ambassador here on January 26. This statement was unavoidable because of Spanish pressure in Madrid and Washington to ascertain reasons for suspensions. As soon as this necessity became apparent the British Embassy was informed of the proposed statement. The Embassy was subsequently told the statement had been made. The British Embassy inquired on Thursday night last38 whether the Department contemplated issuing a release. The answer was in the negative. The following morning when it developed that the story had substantially reached our press and that it would be the part of common prudence to issue a rational statement the British Embassy was informed that the Department intended to issue a statement at the noon press conference on Friday. The release was not made until Friday night, however, but in the course of the afternoon the Embassy was handed the text of a proposed release. Immediately following the release, the Embassy was informed that the release had been made.

At the moment of making the release the Embassy expressed its wish that the British Government be associated in the release with the action taken. This wish was gladly complied with.

  1. Neither printed.
  2. British Ambassador in the United States.
  3. Anthony Eden, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
  4. January 27.