751.52/3–2546: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Gaffery) to the Secretary of State58


1444. “The French Government acknowledges the note in which the American Embassy, in reply to the former’s communication of March 12 regarding the Spanish situation informed it that the American Government, maintaining the position which it had previously taken, could not associate itself with the French Government, in the action which the latter would like to undertake regarding the Spanish question.

The French Government, anxious to avoid differences between the Allies before the Security Council has accepted, following the remarks of the British Government, to consider other methods of procedure if it could be shown that they would lead as surely to the result desired both by the American and British Governments and by itself, that is to say, to the replacement in as short as possible a time and without civil war of the Government of General Franco by a Spanish Government corresponding to the wish of the nation and of a nature to inspire the confidence of the Allied Governments.

It has, however, noted that the conversations between the Allies on the Spanish question have continued for months without any indication of approaching that result. The Government of the US which in the Embassy’s note of March 9 again confirmed the value which it attaches to a change in the Spanish regime, will no doubt agree that if the conversations are to continue further they should be accompanied by acts which will demonstrate clearly to the Spanish people the determination of the Allies not to restrict themselves to declarations of intention and the sincerity of their desire to end the present situation.

In its opinion these acts might be:

A decision of the three powers signatory to the joint declaration of March 5 [4], 1946, stopping the supply to Spain of a key commodity which would be chosen so as not to injure the vital needs of the populace but at the same time emphasize to the Spanish Government the determination of the Allies. This commodity might be for example gasoline. The Allies would agree among themselves not to take the place of the supplier who had cut off deliveries.
An agreement between the signatory powers which would assure the coordination of their diplomatic representation at Madrid in the spirit of the above declaration.

The points on which an agreement would be reached between the governments signatory of the declaration of March 5 might be placed on the agenda of one of the next Councils of Ministers of Foreign Affairs or a similar body in order to receive at this stage the approval of the Soviet Government.

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The French Government will be happy to learn of the views of the American Government regarding a program of action of a type which has just been indicated in order accordingly to determine its decision regarding the placing of the question on the agenda of the Security Council.”

Sent Department 1444, repeated London 224.

  1. Concerning, the note quoted in this telegram, see telegram 1443, March 25, from Paris, supra.