852.00/11–945: Telegram

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

2306. The following is a translation of a note verbale dated November 6 just received from the Spanish Foreign Office:

β€œThe Ministry of Foreign Affairs presents its compliments to the Embassy of the United States of America and with the object of correcting tendentious and inexact news reports recently circulated abroad with the intention of injuring the prestige of Spain and its Government is pleased to inform (the American Embassy) that there having been revealed to all persons of good faith the falseness of the defamatory campaign which international communism has directed against Spain during the past summer putting into play the press, radio and every kind of propaganda because of the arrest in Madrid of the Communist agitators Alvarez and Zapirain. There is now being unleashed anew another equally calumnious accusation because of the arrest in the province of Cadiz of the members of certain clandestine cells of Communist agitation it being now alleged that there is involved a group of peaceful citizens who have been condemned to death because of their political ideas.

On the contrary the truth is that there having reappeared in Spain certain crimes of terroristic nature, kidnappings, holdups, et cetera, which are being perpetrated in rural districts by some individuals who have infiltrated clandestinely across our frontiers, the state organs of security have succeeded in detaining in the south of Spain the members of those cells of agitation (who have been) in contact with the outlaws and have delivered them to the tribunals of justice which are commencing the appropriate processes of law, up to the present no sentence whatever having been pronounced against them, inasmuch as the case is (still) in the process of indictment.

In denying the new accusation and putting things in their proper places, once again it is necessary to caution Governments, diplomatic representatives and the press so that they will be able to discern in their noise-making campaigns the peculiar methods of agitation and propaganda which international communism uses when it proposes to attack a given country. Once again, also, the Spanish Government gives assurance that there reigns in Spain a regime of law in accordance with which the Government, respectful of the law and of the autonomy of the judicial power incharged with applying it, leaves [Page 694]exclusively to the courts the judgment and the punishment of any criminal deeds whatever, subject always to the prior judicial process. Finally the policy of generosity and clemency which the Spanish Government follows in progressively pardoning those responsible for the past Communist revolution must have as a fundamental premise the unshakable affirmation of the principle of order and authority which is required for an inflexible application of justice.”

Armour