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

No. 331

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of the Spanish text and an English translation73 of the response of the Minister of Foreign Affairs to my note of May 1st74 concerning Axis assets and activities.

The Minister declares that the Bretton Woods resolution and complementary declarations embody principles which have already been incorporated within Spanish law and which have been followed in Spanish practice. He gives full assurances that the Spanish Government adheres to the principles of these resolutions and declarations and points out that the decree law of May 5th converts these principles into a national reality.

It will be observed that the note makes no direct reference to undertaking the census of assets and individuals requested in my note of May 1st nor does it contain a definite promise that all of the information obtained by the Spanish Government as a result of its investigations will be made available to the British and American Governments.

In conversations which have been proceeding between the British Commercial Secretary and American Commercial Attaché with the Director of Political Economy who has been charged by the Minister to create and direct the organization necessary for implementing his assurances, the latter has expressed the intention to make accessible to the British and American experts the information gathered on all assets. Information concerning German individuals engaged in economic activities will also be accessible to us. He points out that the census of assets and individuals necessarily complements the investigations which the Spanish Government is undertaking and therefore the Spanish note should be interpreted as assuring a census of economic activities.

Respectfully yours,

For the Ambassador:
Ralph H. Ackerman

Commercial Attaché
[Page 886]

[For further documentation relating to control of the external assets of Germany and the former Axis satellites during June, July, and August, see Foreign Relations, The Conference of Berlin (The Potsdam Conference), 1945, volume I, pages 432434 and 554561; ibid., volume II, pages 747749 and 949969.]

  1. Note dated May 12, not printed.
  2. See telegram 912, May 1, 7 p.m., from Madrid, p. 877.