Foreign Relations of the United States, 1946, The British Commonwealth, Western and Central Europe, Volume V
The Spanish Embassy to the Department of State
The Embassy of Spain presents its compliments to the Department of State and, pursuant to instructions received to that effect, respectfully encloses the complete text of the Unofficial Memorandum issued by the Spanish Government in connection with the last meeting of the Council of Ministers held recently in Madrid.
Unofficial Memorandum Issued by the Spanish Government
Upon the conclusion (of the meeting of the) Council of Ministers the following Unofficial Memorandum was issued:
“The Council of Ministers has given careful attention to the new campaign of rumors and calumny which is again being waged against our nation by extremist sectors of the foreign press, and it regrets that the political sectarianism predominant in some countries makes certain official elements of the said States appear as participants in this campaign without regard for the most elementary rules of international courtesy, without prejudice to any complaints or protests which Spain may make through appropriate channels against this breach [Page 1025] of good international practice. The Spanish Government considers itself obliged to come out publicly against these machinations with which it is cunningly attempted once more to cast great discredit upon the fair name of our country. In informing the country on this subject, the Government desires likewise to give notice in order to prevent its natural sentiments and reactions from being turned against those countries in which such campaigns are taking place; a distinction should be made between sectarian and communistic minorities, which engage in or encourage these campaigns, and the great honorable mass of the said countries, especially the Catholic world, in the name of which the Government receives constant communications condemning such offenses and calumnies. Continual testimonials of friendship for Spain belie the supposition that there exists in the Nation any fundamental political problem to be solved, for, all attempts at agreement between antagonistic elements having failed in their day, it solved its own problem more than six years ago with the victory of national arms. In a manner similar to that in which, all peaceful means having failed, the world solved its (problems) by means of the recent war. This national victory represented for Spain a spiritual and material rebirth. It was used for the benefit of all Spaniards, its chief badge of glory being the highly important social transformation accomplished in this period, and which had awaited a solution for many years. At the end of our war of liberation all the countries of the globe hastened to recognize the new Spanish State and its regime with only two exceptions: Russia, which had not had any relations with Spain since its Revolution of 1918, and Mexico, of which country the Spanish Government requested as a prior step the return of the gold stolen by the Reds and which was carried to that country and protected by the Mexican Government. At the outbreak of the world war Spain maintained a neutral and peaceful position, making an effort to localize the war and, with its skillful foreign policy, preventing the Axis countries, totally victorious during the first years of the war, from going overflowing its frontiers to the detriment of the Allied Nations. Today it is disclosed by unofficial statements of Foreign Offices and published documents that, notwithstanding the peaceful and neutral status of Spain, on both sides there existed belligerent plans to violate Spanish neutrality, in fact by attacking Spain, which at the time calmly faced those situations which it foresaw and sought to destroy such machinations and to allay by its firm, courteous and loyal conduct, the dangers which threatened it, without concealing the fact that it was ready at any event to defend its independence during the long period in which Axis predominance lasted, at the same time maintaining perfect relations of friendship with its neighbor, showing [Page 1026] a chivalrous and peaceful spirit and strengthening the bonds of friendship with the Portuguese nation by means of treaties guaranteeing the integrity of the Iberian Peninsula.
Upon the entry of the United States and Japan into the conflict, it swayed Spanish sympathies to the side of the American effort in the Pacific; the savage outrages against Spaniards in the Philippines resulted in the severance of Spanish diplomatic relations with Japan. Beginning with the entry of the United States into the war, concessions which Spain has been making in behalf of better international harmony, even to the point of yielding its own rights on many occasions, are an example of the spirit of good will of the Spanish State and its Government toward other nations.
The Spanish domestic policy is a matter of exclusive concern to Spaniards and, furthermore, it is developed under the eyes of the world in a free and open manner. For four years there have been functioning intensively and publicly the Spanish Cortes, in which the preparation of laws takes place, the Council of State, and High Courts of Justice; which protect the rights of all Spaniards; National Syndicates, composed of persons engaged in production, periodically elect their own officers and representatives, and a new local Administration Law has opened the way to public representation to all Spaniards.
The Nation has honored its past signatures and commitments, liquidating large debts and deficits created by the Republic or during the Red period. The Spanish people, for their part, have for nine years shown themselves on all occasions and in an unequivocal manner to be on the side of the Caudillo5 (Chief) and his Government. Life in Spain has, in short, developed in a completely normal way since 1939, notwithstanding activities and intrigues that have been carried on from abroad with a view to stirring up trouble. In the face of these incontrovertible facts, Spain once again rejects with all its energy the insidious campaigns of discredit which its enemies are carrying on with impunity with the aid of funds from the Spanish treasury itself—the billion eight hundred million in gold and jewelry which the Reds stole in Spain—and who are being assisted in their propaganda by the political passions of communists and extremists of other countries.
Spain does not accept meddling from abroad in its internal affairs and accuses before the honorable conscience of the world the sectarian action of those who promote and assist it. Nor does Spain accept the role which is frequently attributed to it—that of a lightning-rod which deflects the domestic storms of other countries. Spain considers that campaigns of this nature are an attempt against the sovereign [Page 1027] rights of independent nations and establish unfortunate antecedents for relations between them that might eventually thwart the pacific aims which, in a general way, appear to be put forward for stability and world peace. Spain, in short, will unfalteringly maintain its rights and is ready to isolate itself from those who may have such an impaired conception of international relations among peoples.”
- Generalissimo Francisco Franco y Bahamonde.↩