741.52/3–1345

The Department of State to the British Embassy

Aide-Mémoire

The Department has given careful consideration to the aide-mémoire of the British Embassy dated March 13, 1945,11 setting forth the general lines of British policy toward Spain.

This Government is in substantial agreement with the British Government’s statement of policy toward the present Spanish regime and the Falange Party. It considers that while the present regime remains in power it will be difficult for Spain to assume its proper role and responsibilities in the field of international cooperation and understanding. While this Government and the American people entertain the most friendly feelings toward the Spanish people and desire a development of genuinely cordial relations between the United States and Spain, public sentiment in this country is profoundly opposed to the present Spanish Government, both because of its policies and acts, which until recently have been distinctly unfriendly to the interests of the United States, and because that Government and the Falange Party were founded on undemocratic principles.

This Government considers that the form of government in Spain and the policies pursued by that Government are the concern of the Spanish people, and it is not the policy of this Government in normal circumstances to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries. It shares the hope of the British Government however, that any successor regime in Spain will be based on democratic principles, moderate in tendency, stable, and not indebted for its existence to any outside influences.

A tranquil Spain is desirable, from the standpoint of international cooperation, and a recurrence of civil strife in Spain could only militate against the general postwar objectives of reestablishing peace and order in Europe and of rehabilitating devastated areas. In the general interest therefore, and in the particular interest of the Spanish people any tendencies toward renewed disorder in Spain would be regretted.

This Government fully agrees that there should be a close coordination of policy between it and the British Government respecting Spain. The policy of the United States Government toward the Franco regime, described hi the foregoing paragraphs, has been followed by this Government without deviation for a long time. There have been no acts of this Government or public utterances of its officials on the subject at variance with that policy. It is not thought possible that General Franco or his Government can be under any [Page 673]misapprehension respecting the views of this Government or of the American people toward the Spanish Government and the Falange Party. These views have been expressed to General Franco and to his Foreign Ministers repeatedly and with clarity over a considerable period of time.

In the circumstances, the Department of State is at a loss co understand why the United Kingdom Government would take seriously enough to include in its memorandum the reported allegations of the Spanish Government that United States feelings toward it are less hostile than those of the United Kingdom Government.

  1. Not printed.