195. Memorandum of a Conversation Between the Secretary of State and the Spanish Ambassador (Areilza), Department of State, Washington, December 5, 19551


  • Letter from Gen. Franco

The Spanish Ambassador called this afternoon at his request to deliver a personal and confidential letter from the Spanish Chief of State. The Secretary greeted the Ambassador by telling him how much he had enjoyed his visit in Madrid and how greatly he had been impressed by the cordiality of the reception given him by General FRANCO and the Foreign Minister and by the Spanish people.

The Secretary opened and read General FRANCO’s letter in the Ambassador’s presence and then handed it to him to read also. Mr. Dulles said that he was not quite sure he understood the General’s reference to the joining of resources of the United States and the West. [Page 559] The Ambassador replied that he had heard the Generalissimo express himself on this point on other occasions and he believed that he had reference to the gap in Western European defenses which was created by the absence of Spain from NATO. He continued that it seemed a paradox to the Spaniards that the one nation in NATO which most violently opposed the admission of Spain to NATO was also the nation which denied the United States access to bases on its national territory (apparently this was a reference to Norway). The Secretary expressed his appreciation of General FRANCO’s letter and thanked the Ambassador for its delivery.

The conversation then turned to UN membership and the Secretary explained the United States position and our decision to abstain on a package proposal which included Outer Mongolia and the European satellites of the USSR. He reviewed briefly the history of Outer Mongolia, emphasizing the bad faith of the Soviet Union in the implementation of its 1945 treaty with Nationalist China for which it had been subsequently formally censored in the UN. The Ambassador replied that the Spanish Government was extremely grateful to the United States for its efforts on Spain’s behalf and that, regardless of the outcome of the UN vote on admission, Spanish attitude would not change. (He forcefully reiterated this view to Mr. Jones following his call on the Secretary.) The Secretary expressed appreciation of Spanish comprehension of our proposals and went on to say that the primary consideration in the success of the present proposal was the position of the Chinese Nationalist Government. He said that we could not and would not use our power and authority to coerce the Government of Taipei to vote on this issue as we wished; that while we would make known our views and the various considerations affecting our own position, our policy toward our friends and allies required that they have freedom of decision on foreign policy matters.

As the Ambassador left, the Secretary again expressed his pleasure and satisfaction with his visit to Madrid last month.

An English translation, which accompanied General Franco’s letter of November 25, is attached.

[Page 560]


Letter From General Franco to Secretary of State Dulles2

My Dear Mr. Dulles: In due course I received your confidential letter3 on the recent attitude of the Soviets in Geneva, and I am very grateful for it. Once more, we find confirmation of their lack of fair play and of the unchanging nature of their objectives.

The so-called “spirit of Geneva” was, naturally, incompatible with everything Communism has ever meant, and also with the action which the Communists are undertaking in so many parts of the world. This proves once again that they can only be contained through strengh and through their own fear. No policy is possible with the Soviets if it has not such a backing of strength.

Once we admit the bad faith of Communism and its invariable purpose, no means, opportunity or sacrifice can or should be overlooked in order to gain strength and to weaken the obvious adversary. Everything necessary should be sacrificed for such an end.

To the minds that direct Soviet policy, it must be quite evident that if the United States and the West should resolutely join their resources, these would prove superior in every possible aspect. By creating zones of friction between the Western nations in various parts of the Universe, the Soviets intend to break up the unity of the West.

It would be highly convenient if this new lesson were not wasted, but should help to stimulate and fortify the spirit of unity and defense of the threatened nations.

With very pleasent memories of your visit and our conversation, please receive my very sincere and cordial good wishes.

F. Franco4
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–GE/11–2555. Confidential. Drafted by John Wesley Jones.
  2. Personal and Confidential. a Spanish laguage text of this letter is ibid.
  3. Supra.
  4. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.