852.00/3–846: Telegram

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

secret

464. Supplementing Embtel 461, March 734 following is free translation of memo sent me by Undersecretary for FonAff:35

For some time there have been in Paris a Soviet Military Mission directed by Colonel Lapkin. It appears to depend from the Russian Embassy there. According to well informed persons the USSR fears that the US and Great Britain wish to orient toward themselves to the foreign and economic policy of Spain. It is the wish of Soviet Union to anticipate the plans of the western democracies and it has therefore placed in movement powerful means for purpose of penetrating into Spain. Among those means is included employment of [Page 1048]well disciplined French Communist Party and also of Spanish exiles residing in France many of whom are veterans of Spanish Civil War.

The influence of Moscow over French Communists and Spanish refugees in France has become very evident in recent months. Captain Nbvikof and Lt. Xilitzin members of Soviet Military Mission in Paris have constant contact with the Spanish exiles. The first named is active in the Dept of Ariège and is endeavoring to send clandestine shipments of arms and ammunition to Spain. The other man is operating near Nancy and is trying to forward the same type of material to Spain by sea. La Pasionaria Campa, Spanish Communist, who has lived in Russia for several years, is a constant visitor of Soviet Embassy and transmits to other Spanish groups orders which she receives. Among French extremists there is a division of opinion since a good part of the CGT agrees with Anglo-Saxon point of view but there are numerous Soviet agents endeavoring to neutralize this element. Next Sunday36 there will be held at Toulouse a meeting between representatives of CGT, of the Giral Govt and members of Spanish workers syndicates.

End translation.

I would be interested in comment of American Embassy Paris re above.

Repeated Paris 139.

Bonsal
  1. Not printed.
  2. Tomás Suñer y Ferrer.
  3. March 10.