711.52/325: Telegram

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

306. British Ambassador is telegraphing London once more in an effort to call a halt to BBC attacks on Spain. He has told London that our Governments must decide very quickly whether we want a break in relations with Spain. He believes that a break will involve some kind of military diversion favorable to Germany. If we do not wish a break he says publicity must be curbed because otherwise it will lead to a break within a month. If we allow uninformed public opinion in our countries to have its head it will lead to economic blockade.

He has asked for immediate instructions as to what British policy is. If Britain wants to break with Spain he suggests publicity continue. If it does not he says it must stop.

He says BBC obtained its information concerning interruption of petroleum shipments from FEA in United States.

I cannot too strongly urge that publicity concerning our relations with Spain be handled by the State Department and not by other organizations [Page 317] which regardless of their competence in their own field are simply not in a position intelligently and wisely to comment publicly on our relations with Spain.