180. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Tyler) to Secretary of State Rusk1

I called the Spanish Ambassador this afternoon and told him I was speaking to him quite personally and informally. I told him that because of your high regard for him you had not wanted to dwell too long on how upset you had been by the UPI story out of Madrid, according to which the Spanish government held the United States Government responsible for the aggression against the Spanish ship.2 However I knew that you hoped that the strength of your feelings on this matter had not passed unnoticed by him.

The Ambassador took this in very good part and assured me that he was fully aware of your position. He repeated that this news story was a distortion of the communiquéwhich had been issued by the Spanish Foreign Office, the text of which he had received and which bore out his explanation to you. He added that the Spanish press was playing up the whole incident in an unfortunately dramatic manner.3

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL SP-US. Confidential. Drafted by Tyler.
  2. The Aranzazu was attacked on September 13 by two small boats equipped with machine guns while off Cuba. Three Spanish citizens on board were killed. Rusk met with Merry Del Val on September 16 to discuss the attack. Their meeting was reported in telegram 254 to Madrid, September 16. (Ibid., POL 33-6 CUBA)
  3. Telegram 378 from Madrid, September 25, reported that Ambassador Woodward met with Foreign Minister Castiella who affirmed that the Government of Spain rejected any notion of U.S. responsibility for the incident and expressed his desire to improve relations between the two governments. (Ibid.)