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

No. 3406

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s instruction No. 1154 of October 10, 1944 (File No. 811.2381/9–1844), which has reference [Page 423] to Tangier telegram No. 187, dated June 29, 1944, regarding the achievement of the Legation in securing the agreement of the High Commissariat at Tetuán to order anti-aircraft batteries in Spanish North Africa to desist from firing upon American military aircraft in the circumstances stated.

The implementation of this agreement, as far as this Embassy is informed, has been most satisfactory. Accordingly, the opinion of the Chargé d’Affaires at Tangier was informally requested concerning the desirability of reopening the subject at Madrid. The latter’s views, to which I fully subscribe, are informally expressed in the following paragraph of his personal letter in reply to that request:

“My own feeling is that this question is distinctly a dead issue and I personally can see no possible useful purpose in raising the question with the Spanish authorities. I feel convinced that our planes are not going to be fired on so that the questions raised by the Department in its instruction are now entirely academic. I had an opportunity to discuss this problem with officers of the Moroccan Sea Frontier Command a few days before leaving for Madrid and they felt as I did, that no further difficulties of any kind were to be expected by our planes flying in this area.”

The situation in like regard in the Canaries also would appear to have developed reasonably. The Consul at Las Palmas,44 mentioning by letter of November 4 that the fact of the Embassy’s protest to the Foreign Office at Madrid had been informally brought to the attention of the local military, stated:

“He (General Jimenez) replied that orders had been received approximately a fortnight ago that ‘planes over the jurisdictional waters should not be shot at, but that planes over land must be’.”

Respectfully yours,

Carlton J. H. Hayes
  1. Robert F. Fernald.