852.00/4–1047: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Douglas) to the Secretary of State

top secret

2160. Personal for Acheson. Called on Sargent1 this morning and discussed contents urtel 1531, April 7, 7 p. m. He indicated gratification [Page 1069] over fact that Department was reviewing policy toward Franco and said that Foreign Office had been doing the same thing. He agreed that from evidence in possession Foreign Office it was to Moscow’s advantage that Franco be kept in power, thus increasing the economic and political confusion in Spain and providing propaganda advantages. He agrees further that there is some danger that even at the special meeting of the UN action might be taken which, unless US and UK have developed by then a positive policy, might prove to be embarrassing to both of us.

Sargent considers the method of implementing a positive policy to be extremely delicate, requiring utmost skill, and that key generals of army should probably first be tapped for without their support the venture might, and probably would, fail. A meeting is being held in the Foreign Office this afternoon to discuss the matter. He defers judgment for the time being as to whether further discussions should be held in Washington or London.

  1. Sir Orme Sargent, British Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.