Autonomous Government of Euzkadi
24, Belgrave Square,
Dear Sir Walter,
I confirm my letter of yesterday and have pleasure in giving you further information. Enclosed is copy of a telegram to-day received from the President of the Government of Euzkadi, Don José Antonio de Aguirre. I should also like to draw your attention to the commentary of "The Daily Telegraph" on the "Gordonia" incident, also enclosed. From this article three points are clear:-
(1) That although in April last the Admiralty promised the House of Commons that British merchant ships would be protected and that insurgent craft would never be permitted to fire at them, especially outside territorial waters, that has been done.
(2) That navigation inside territorial waters is protected by the coastal batteries and that the "Almirante Cervera" did not dare to enter these waters.
(3) That it was on account of orders received from the warships that the merchant ships did not enter the port, which confirms that British merchant shipping is not protected, and it is therefore futile for the Basque Government to charter British ships.
I beg you to be so kind as to give full consideration to this matter as the situation in Santander is untenable.
Jose I. de Lizaso
Sir Walter Citrine, K.B.E.