The Ambassador in Spain (Armour) to the Secretary of State
[Received 8:14 p.m.]
1547. Franco yesterday delivered 45–minute address to the National Council of Falange being accompanied on arrival and departure by Arrese, Minister-Secretary of Movement. Speech was in general aggressive, confident and highly nationalistic. It gave no indication whatever of imminence of any real change either in principles or personnel of the regime, being on the contrary largely devoted to glorification of what has been achieved. Toward end of address Franco said: “The best laws would be of little importance if the spirit of our Falange were to fail, if we were to fall asleep on easy laurels or if we were to lose heart before the difficulties of the road which we must yet cover.”
Franco presented the establishment of the traditional Spanish Monarchy as the next step in the progress of national movement to be achieved through a law to be presented to Cortes in order that the succession to the high office now held by Franco himself may be assured. [Page 682]Translation of his remarks on subject is being cabled en clair.22
Other topics dealt with generally along familiar lines were as follows:
Peace and progress of Spain contrasted with conditions elsewhere in Europe.
Great merit of Spanish neutrality. Reference made in this connection to assurances received from Roosevelt and British Government at time of North African landings.23 Pact with Portugal of July 194024 also referred to.
Difficulty of Spain’s relations with other countries since this is hour of passion not hour of reason and fact of Spanish crusade involving 1,200,000 Spanish soldiers not appreciated. When full story of Spain’s international conduct can be made known, relations will be restored to normal. Spain has shown desire to cooperate but must now maintain attitude of reserve about what may be decided behind her back on matters affecting her.
Revolutionary characteristics of national movement with emphasis on social justice, Catholic religion and national unity. Paradox that this is misunderstood abroad precisely by sectors who should be most interested. Peculiarly Spanish quality of movement stressed. Spain does not need and should not import political ideas from abroad.
Necessity for anti-communism of Spain and of foreign propagandists about true nature of communism. Stress here is on Spanish experience.
Solidity and stability of regime and error of those abroad who speculate about it. Experiences and accomplishments of national movement already being studied abroad.
Review of work of Cortes with emphasis on bill of rights and local aviation law. Statement that proposed elections will give to institutions the spontaneous and efficacious popular integration proclaimed by doctrine of the movement. Popular participation to be through family, syndicate and municipality.
Campaign against unemployment and establishment of unemployment insurance designated immediate specific task.
- Telegram 1549, July 18, 1945, not printed.↩
- For text of President Roosevelt’s letter of assurance to General Franco, dated November 12, 1942, see Department of State Bulletin, November 14, 1942, p. 906.↩
- Protocol between Spain and Portugal signed at Lisbon, July 29, 1940; for text, see British and Foreign State Papers, vol. cxliv, p. 520. The protocol was made as an annex to the treaty of friendship and non-aggression of 1939, ibid., vol. cxliii, p. 673.↩