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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1937. General
(1937)

The Spanish Civil War,   pp. 215-604 PDF (139.7 MB)


Page 215


THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR
             I. INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL ASPECTS'
852.00/4274: Telegram
    The Ambassador in Italy (Phillips) to the Secretary of Stare
                                     ROME, January 5,1937-3 p. m.
                                  [Received January 5-1: 50 p. m.J
  6. A United Press despatch from Washington published in the local
papers this morning for distribution in connection with the neutrality
discussions before Congress [stated that?] it is intimated in official
circles that the President will apply an embargo on war materials to
Spain and Germany if the relations between the two countries con-
tinued to deteriorate. Although this report has not been commented
on in the press any such action of course would be interpreted here as
evidence of taking sides in the Spanish conflict.
  From an unofficial but reliable informant who has recently been in
Spain I gather that Franco's Spanish resources are very limited and
that he will require continued substantial foreign aid both supplies
and men presumably from Italy and Germany. Other estimates place
his need at the present time at about a minimum of 20,000 trained
foreign troops in order to maintain even his present position. It is
also reported that Franco has shown a lack of generalship and his
army organization is most inefficient. The best of his Spanish troops
are said to have been killed in the early days of the war and that
Franco is making no efforts to raise other armies in Spain, but will
rely primarily on foreign troops.
  Up to the present it is impossible to obtain any accurate forecast of
the nature of the Italian-German consultation concerning the reply to
be sent to the joint Franco-British note regarding volunteers.2
Whether as a result of the recent Anglo-Italian negotiations Italy will
endeavor to exercise some restraint upon Germany can only be deter-
mined by future developments since no reliable information regarding
Italy's real intention can be secured from the Italian authorities who
merely reiterate that conditions in Spain are improving. They allege
that Franco's victory is only a question of time.
                                                          PHILLIPS
 1 Continued from Foreign Relations, 1936, vol. II, pp. 437-626.
 2See telegram No. 628, December 28, 1936, 6 p. m., from the Ambassador in
the
 United Kingdom, ibid., p. 615.
                                                          215


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