The Acting Secretary of State (Phillips) to the Diplomatic And Consular Officers of the United States in Spain [30], [Circular telegram], WASHINGTON, August 7, 1936-5 p.m.

While I realize that all of our officers have fully appreciated the necessity for maintaining a completely impartial attitude with regard to the disturbances in Spain, and that such an attitude has at all times been maintained by them, it may be well for them to have a summing up of what this government's position thus far has been and will continue to be.

It is clear that our Neutrality Law with respect to embargo of arms, ammunition and implements of war has no application in the present situation, since that applies only in the event of war be tween or among nations. On the other hand, in conformity with its well-established policy of non-interference with internal affairs in other countries, either in time of peace or in the event of civil strife, this Government will, of course, scrupulously refrain from any interference whatsoever in the unfortunate Spanish situation. We believe that American citizens, both at home and abroad, are patriotically observing this well-recognized American policy.


[30] Text of telegram also sent to Legations of the United States at Lisbon and Tangier.

Source: U.S., Department of State, Publication 1983, Peace and War: United States Foreign Policy, 1931-1941 (Washington, D.C.: U.S., Government Printing Office, 1943, pp. 321-22.

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