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Notes on The Memoirs of Cordell Hull
by William P. Meyers

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Page 17
Recognizing the Franco Regime, Albania Invaded, and Strategic Materials

In February, 1939 Cordell Hull learned the British government was considering recognizing the government of General Franco as the government of Spain. At that time the loyalists (legitimate, elected government) had lost almost all of Spain except Madrid. Through U.S. ambassador to France Bullitt, the U.S. began conversations with Franco's government, asking that "authorities would be ready to protect Americans and their properties in Spain," and that there would be no further reprisals against the non-fascists. However, while the Franco government pledge to respect Americans and international law, but would not make promises about treatment of its internal enemies. [616-617]

Britain recognized the Franco government on February 27, 1939. Madrid fell on March 28. On April 1 Hull requested diplomatic relations with Spain. "On the same day the President signed a proclamation, which I had sent him the previous day, lifting the arms embargo against Spain." Recognition of Spain by the U.S. was completed on April 3, with Alexander W. Weddell as the new U.S. ambassador to Spain. Juan Francisco de Cardenas became Spanish ambassador to the U.S. [617]

On April 7, 1939 Italian troops occupied Albania. The U.S. refused to recognize the conquest. [618-619]

"Hitler's occupation of Czechoslovakia in March, in violation of his solemn promises at Munich, changed Chamberlain's attitude completely. With France he thereupon agreed to guarantee Poland from German aggression, consented to the institution of conscription in Britain, and sought to make it amply clear to Hitler than [sic] an invasion of Poland meant a European war." King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited the United States in June along with Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King. [623]

In June, 1939, legislation was passed to stock up on strategic war materials, five years after Hull first urged it. Plans to trade American cotton and wheat for British, Dutch and Belgian rubber and tin (from their enslaved colonies) encountered difficulties, but the U.S. did trade 600,000 bales of cotton in return for 100,000 tons of British Empire rubber. [[624-625]

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