711.52/329: Telegram

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

314. Your 306, January 31, 9 p.m. The British Embassy here has been acquainted with steps the Department has taken with the OWI and has been advised of your views and those of your British colleague respecting publicity. As you know from the Department’s 277, February 1, 6 p.m., steps have been taken to reduce publicity. While the Department concurs with you that this measure seems advisable, it believes that the original publicity was highly useful in impressing upon the Spanish Government and people the importance we attached to our requests. The Spanish Government had apparently not fully appreciated this during the months of conversations which finally resulted in our action.

It is difficult for the Department to suppose that the Spanish Government would consider breaking relations with this Government and thereby insuring a complete cessation of overseas supply, to say nothing of very definitely impairing Spain’s future position. The Department feels that this possibility may be discarded and that you should endeavor to obtain a complete wolfram embargo and prompt action on our other requests. With regard to the wolfram embargo, it appears from correspondence of the British Embassy here, exhibited to the Department yesterday, that Sir Samuel Hoare’s reports reflect a degree of pessimism and that he may be ready to accept some lesser restrictive measure. The Department’s views have been expressed clearly to the British Embassy and it is believed that Sir Samuel may receive further instructions from his Government. Meanwhile you should discuss the matter with him urgently and endeavor to dispel any pessimism you may find to exist. Your 305, January 31, 8 p.m., is of great interest in this connection and indicates that Jordana and Franco in their conversations with the Portuguese Ambassador have not seemed unwilling to go the whole way. Full advantage [Page 326] should be taken of Portuguese cooperation as well as of the existing situation created by the suspension of tanker loadings. Obviously, the sooner the Spanish Government acts the easier it will be, inasmuch as any delay will afford the Germans the opportunity to bring their arguments to bear against us.