711.52/348: Telegram

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

473. I shall seek an interview with the Spanish Foreign Minister early next week and carry out instructions contained in your telegram 351, February 8. In the meantime, I wish to bring the following situation to your attention. The British Ambassador to whom I conveyed this morning the purport of your instructions, has informed me that his Government’s attitude diverges from ours in the matter of insisting on a total permanent wolfram embargo as well as in respect to the Italian warships as explained in my telegram 389, February 4. Sir Samuel Hoare went out of his way to make it clear beyond peradventure of doubt that he was not giving me the benefit of his personal opinion but representing the views of the British Government as recently confirmed to him and particularly emphasized that he would not be in a position to maintain with Jordana any insistence on a complete wolfram embargo and in fact would eventually have to admit that the British Government was prepared to accept a drastic limitation of export.

For obvious and imperative reasons, it is essential that the British and American Governments which embarked jointly upon this course of action should maintain a united front until a solution satisfactory to both Governments is attained. Accordingly I feel it my duty to ask that most urgent action be taken to the end that both Sir Samuel Hoare and I receive similar instructions.

I feel I must also make mention again of the fact that we are embarked on a course which is not without danger and I find it disturbing that the attitude of the two Allied Governments should so diverge as to indicate that we may not be proceeding with the full approval of the combined Chiefs of Staff.