811.248/1–2945: Telegram

The Chargé in Spain ( Butterworth ) to the Secretary of State

215. For Hickerson11 from George. “At the end of our meeting with Doctor Salazar last Thursday,12 which I understand has been reported by Crocker, the Prime Minister stated that our discussion of the proposal to bring the ATC through Lisbon into Europe left but one point requiring clarification. He said that should he be able to assure himself that the cargo to be transported through Lisbon by ATC planes would not be for direct military use there would appear to be no difficulty. I take it that Salazar means to go into a huddle with himself on this one point, as we made it quite clear to him that the cargo to be carried will be largely military, and that he expects to come back to us with the result of his reflections. In the previous discussion he had made it clear that he was distinguishing between [Page 441] supplies for our military establishment in Europe of general character and supplies for direct military use such as guns and ammunition.

In meeting Salazar I was accompanied and ably assisted by Crocker, Payne, and Walmsley.13 Doctor Salazar had his own interpreter and Walmsley served as interpreter on our side. The conversation was conducted in part through the interpreters in Portuguese and English and in part in French direct.

Butterworth took Payne and me this morning to our first meeting with Lequerica.14 This conversation was almost entirely in English and we used no interpreter. Lequerica seemed entirely receptive and stated that the policy of Spain today is to cooperate in every way possible with the United States and that General Franco15 is firm in his desire to conduct foreign policy in a manner to bring Spain nearer to us. The Foreign Minister said he favored the proposal in principle and would take it up with General Franco without delay.

There was an inevitable loss of time in Lisbon due to Salazar’s absence from the city and it has therefore not been possible to confine my visit to the peninsula to one week. I mention this as it has been somewhat on Payne’s mind and I hope you will agree that I should remain a few days more in Spain at the disposal of Lequerica for any further clarifications of our project following his meeting with Franco. [George.]

  1. John D. Hickerson, Deputy Director, Office of European Affairs.
  2. January 25.
  3. Walter N. Walmsley, Second Secretary of Embassy.
  4. José Felix Lequerica, Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  5. Generalissimo Francisco Franco, Spanish Chief of State.