751.52/2–2746: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France (Caffery)40

secret
us urgent

1096. “The Government of the United States has given careful consideration to the French Government’s Note of February 27, drawing attention to certain recent developments in Spain, stating that the French Government was of the opinion that the situation in Spain should be submitted for examination to the Security Council and enquiring whether the United States Government would agree to associate itself with the French Government in doing so.

“The United States Government holds firmly to the opinion that any Member of the United Nations should bring any dispute or any situation, which might lead to international friction or give rise to a dispute, to the attention of the Security Council whenever that Member feels that such a course is warranted under the provisions of the Charter.

“It is the view of the United States Government that, in considering whether it would bring a situation to the attention of the Security Council or would associate itself with another government in such action, it should have in its possession facts which, when examined in the light of the pertinent provisions of the Charter, afford reason to believe that a situation exists, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security.

“The Government of the United States has repeatedly made clear its attitude in regard to the present regime in Spain. It supported the [Page 1050]resolution in San Francisco introduced by the Mexican Delegation41 to the effect that a country should not be eligible to membership in the United Nations if its government had been assisted to power by the armed forces of countries which fought against the United Nations. The United States was a party to the Potsdam Declaration, applying this principle in specific terms to Spain. The United States moreover supported the Panamanian Resolution adopted in January [February] 1946 at the first meeting of the General Assembly to the effect that the members of the United Nations Organization should act in accordance with the letter and the spirit of these declarations in the conduct of their relations with Spain.

“The Government of the United States has on numerous occasions stated its view that there cannot be satisfactory relations between the United States and Spain so long as the present regime continues in power in Spain. It frankly feels that a change of regime in Spain is not only highly desirable from the standpoint of the Spanish people themselves, but essential if Spain is to take that place in the family of nations which rightfully belongs to her. At the same time, the Government of the United States is compelled to say that it regards the change of the existing regime in Spain as a task for the Spanish people themselves. It is the privilege and the responsibility of the people of Spain to determine the form of government under which Spain wishes to live and to choose the leaders of their government.

“While the Government of the United States feels strongly that a change of regime in Spain is long overdue, it is compelled to reiterate that it is for the Spanish people themselves in their own way to bring about such a change. It is the earnest hope of the Government of the United States that the Spanish people will bring about such a change at the earliest possible moment and by peaceful means.

“On the basis of its present analysis of all the facts in its possession concerning the Spanish situation, including those mentioned in the Note from the French Government of February 27, 1946, the Government of the United States does not believe that a situation exists, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security. It is possible that such a situation may develop, but it was the hope of the United States Government that the recent action it took in concert with the French Government and the British Government would serve to retard such development. Therefore the United States Government as at present advised does not feel that it can associate itself with the French Government in now bringing the question to the attention of the Security Council.

[Page 1051]

“The United States Government is of course prepared to give careful study to any additional information which the French Government may care to furnish in connection with its proposal. In considering such information, the United States Government would appreciate particularly being informed more precisely as to how the French Government believes that the matter comes within the jurisdiction of the Security Council, the type of action which in the opinion of the French Government the Security Council would be in a position to take, and any specific recommendations for action which the French Government may envisage making to the Security Council for the solution of the problem as submitted.”

Await receipt of immediately following telegram42 with additional instructions before presenting Note.

Sent Paris as 1096 rptd. Madrid as 350, Moscow as 428 and London as 2127.

Byrnes
  1. A note based on this telegram and dated March 9, 1946, was delivered by Ambassador Caffery on that date to Georges Bidault, French Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  2. For text of resolution and prefatory remarks by the Mexican representatives, see Documents of the United Nations Conference on International Organization, San Francisco, 1945, vol. 6, pp. 124–136.
  3. Telegram 1097, p. 1048.