The Spanish Ministry for Foreign Affairs to the American Embassy in Spain 33

Note Verbale
No. 835

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs presents its compliments to the Embassy of the United States of America and has the honor to state the following.

The Madrid correspondent of the United Press, Mr. Forte, has sent to his headquarters a telegraphic report framed in the following terms: “While General Franco today convoked his Government, thousands of Madrid people read for the first time the text of the letter sent by President Roosevelt to the present North American Ambassador in Spain, Norman Armour. This has been possible through the insertion of the text of the letter denouncing the Falange into the Graphic Weekly published twice a month which is edited in Spanish. 90,000 copies of this publication are issued which are distributed in Madrid and the provinces by the Consulates of the United States, and in Madrid it has a wider circulation than any of the local newspapers.”

Elsewhere, the same correspondent reports: “Scarcely were Spaniards aware that the Embassy had published in its News Bulletin, [Page 691] Semanario Gráfico, the text of the letter sent by President Roosevelt to the present Ambassador, Norman Armour, which had never been made public in Spain, than they congregated by the hundreds in front of the Embassy, forming lines to obtain a copy of the Bulletin. It is estimated that each of those distributed has been read by a minimum of ten persons. It seems that the Embassy of the United States is determined to give publicity to all documents, speeches, and news which are not announced through other methods in this country, for which reason a large part of opinion does not know the true position of Spain in the world.”

On their side, the press and radios of the United States have given wide diffusion to the news that the Bulletin of the North American Embassy in Madrid has published integrally the text of the letter under reference, in which the deceased President accused the Franco regime. “This document,” the report adds, “was not picked up by the Spanish press, being treated in the same way as the Potsdam declaration and President Truman’s rebuke, but public opinion of the country has been sufficiently informed because the Bulletin of the North American Embassy is run off in 90,000 copies, more than any large Madrid daily, and reaches all social classes.” The report moreover permits itself to point out that “no protest from the Spanish Government is expected for this act of the Embassy of the United States.”

This Ministry of Foreign Affairs can do no less than express its surprise at the transcribed reports. Knowing the correct manner with which the Embassy of the United States has always conducted itself, it naturally resists giving credit to the report relative to the exorbitant distribution of the Graphic Weekly of the Embassy of the United States of America. The Spanish Government believes on the contrary that that diplomatic representation adheres strictly to the standards which, with a spirit of ample tolerance, the Spanish authorities issued on the publication and distribution of news bulletins by foreign representations accredited in Spain—standards which establish that the cited bulletins are edited exclusively for destination to the authorities. If, on the contrary, the above transcribed cables reflect the truth of what has happened, the Spanish Government would find itself, much to its regret, forced to prohibit the circulation of a publication which could be considered illegal in not adhering to the dispositions in force in Spain on the subject.

As a consequence, this Ministry of Foreign Affairs trusts that the Embassy of the United States will consider it convenient, in reciprocation of the correct attitude observed by the Spanish authorities and press with regard to everything concerning its country, to order its press section not only to adhere to the norms established on publication of news bulletins but also to abstain from reproducing documents or [Page 692]declarations which refer to Spanish policy, the publication of which is not expressly authorized by the Spanish Government.

  1. Copy transmitted to the Department in despatch 1072, October 26, 1945; received November 7.