740.00119 Control (Germany)/4–146: Telegram

The Chargé in Spain (Bonsal) to the Secretary of State

secret

629. Emtel 177, March 25, Paris, 98, Berlin, 171, London, 594 Dept.54 Spanish Police state that of 75 Germans Madrid named by Spanish Foreign Minister for airlift they have been unable to arrest anyone this week. It will, therefore, be impossible to proceed with air removals pending their ability to secure Germans.

In conversation with Foreign Minister March 25 and 26 by British Ambassador and myself, we emphasized that of about 1,400 former German officials, only 113 have left and of some 400 agents, only 44 (Emtel 589, March 24, Dept only; despatch 1853, March 2855).

Embassy suggests that Department call in Cárdenas56 and inform him of very poor showing made to date and very strongly request that Spanish Government realize seriousness of situation, inevitability of strong reaction in American public opinion because of failure to remove Nazi elements and urge utmost expedition in executing program particularly of removal high ranking members on air priorities of whom only 70 have left, although list of 255 presented November 12. Emtel 321, February 16, London, 101; Berlin, 62.54 British Ambassador is making similar suggestion to London.

Spanish Foreign Minister recently stated any statement which could be given Spanish press re conditions in Germany more favorable [Page 811]than those now being published would perhaps influence Germans here to come forward, particularly on assurances as to security of life and property and food conditions. Alleged kidnapping by French of Karl Heilmann, customs guard, (Emtel 590, March 24, Berlin 96, Paris 175, London, 169; Paris telegram 36, February 8, Dept 640, Berlin 5357) was also declared to have had detrimental effect on German departures. Embassy concurs that any assurances which can be given would be helpful. Embassy has noted reports German mails being re-established, Spain excepted, and invites attention Minister’s request families of those airlifted be advised their welfare direct preferably by carefully censored messages through official channels.

Emtel 578, March 21, Paris, 168; London, 165; Berlin, 94.58 Embassies consider that in spite unfavorable picture presented above we can still expect reasonably successful ship movement due largely to efforts repatriation center, and Consuls request advice as to progress procuring vessel. Prompt announcement sailing date will have beneficial effect.

It will, of course, not have escaped Dept’s attention that possibility real cooperation from Spanish authorities in repatriation matters is necessarily affected by our Government’s attitude toward regime (tripartite statement, so-called White Book etc.59). Foreign Minister has repeatedly told British Ambassador and myself that help he has rendered on repatriation has evidently not improved Spanish international position and is, therefore, hard to justify to his Cabinet colleagues.

Although Embassy, in cooperation with British Embassy, plans to keep this whole matter and especially repatriation of high priority officials and agents energetically before Spanish Government, Embassy suggests Dept may wish in light of experience in Spain and other countries to re-examine whole program on basis present conditions and possibilities with a view to restatement of directives.

Repeated London, 180; Paris, 191; Paris, please relay Berlin as Embs 104.

Bonsal
  1. Not printed.
  2. Neither printed.
  3. Juan Francisco de Cárdenas, Spanish Ambassador in the United States.
  4. Not printed.
  5. None printed.
  6. Not printed.
  7. For text of joint statement by the United States, United Kingdom, and France on relations with Spanish Government of Franco released to the press March 4, 1946, and partial texts of the 15 documents, sometimes referred to as Spanish White Book, see Department of State Bulletin, March 17, 1946, pp. 412–427. For complete text of the documents, see Department of State publication No. 2483, European Series No. 8.