851.00/7–2945: Telegram

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

Niact SS5. Chief of Protocol called this morning with message from FonMin who is still in Madrid, to effect that Spanish Govt has decided to send Laval back to point from which he came in same plane in which he arrived. They wished to have this done as soon as possible and proposed to get him off tomorrow, Monday. He described plane as Junker 88 with no special design on wings and speed of 472 kilometers per hour.

Later in the day the British Ambassador66 and I discussed matter with French representative Hardion who had been given above information [Page 719] yesterday by Spanish Under Secretary and had immediately telegraphed it to Paris. Hardion is telephoning his Govt this evening to see that Allied military authorities are advised and that proper measures are agreed upon to receive plane.

Plane is supposed to be flown to Bolzano its point of origin but Spanish official has expressed to Hardion view that German pilots who will fly plane may endeavor make clandestine landing in Bavaria, abandon Laval and wife, burn plane and rejoin families.

My British colleague and I have agreed, and have so informed Hardion, that to avoid confusion, Hardion should handle all details with French Govt leaving to latter coordination and clearing with Allied authorities.

British Embassy here states Foreign Office some time ago approved in principle return of Laval in manner now contemplated.

Repeated to Paris and London. To Madrid by courier.

  1. Sir Victor A. L. Mallet became British Ambassador to Spain on July 25, 1945.