International Law and Diplomacy in the Spanish Civil Strife

By Norman J. Padelford; Bureau of International Research of Harvard University and Radcliffe College. | Go to book overview
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ALTHOUGH removed geographically and politically from the conflict within and about Spain, the United States was not left unaffected. Complications affecting American rights and interests called for a reconsideration of historic policies toward civil strife abroad, especially as such policies are to be applied outside the American hemisphere. The extended hostilities, and the evolution of the European Non-Intervention system, occasioned a testing of the embargo and non-enlistment legislation of the United States and evoked query as to the propriety and value of current law.


Upon the outbreak of the insurrection in mid- July, 1936, two major problems immediately confronted the United States in common with other countries: the safety of nationals, and the conservation of property rights and interests. Fifteen hundred Americans were recorded as resident in Spain, together with considerable numbers of summer tourists.1 Efforts were made to contact all citizens at once and to warn them of the hazards of remaining in the country. The American Embassy was opened to all Americans who desired to take shelter there;2 through the coöperation of the Navy and steamship companies, naval and passenger vessels were sent to Spanish ports to pick up Americans as well as other foreigners;3 arrangements were made for specially guarded trains and motor caravans to carry Americans and others from inland centers to the seaboard.4 American policy was to lend "every effort in the protection of American citizens and to afford them means of evacuation." While an attempt was made to induce all Americans whose presence was not imperatively demanded to leave Spain, Secretary Hull later stated that "the Government will continue its

Press Releases, Vol. XV, p. 68.


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