Autonomous Government of Euzkadi
24, Belgrave Square, S.W.1.
9th. July 1937.
Dear Sir Walter,
The alleged blockade of Santander is still filling the news, yet I can assure you that Santander is blockaded only in the minds of those who do not wish to further the work of the evacuation of the civil population of the city. I understand that the Harbour master at Santander has stated that the port is fully protected by two coastal batteries, having a range of 17 Km., and six smaller batteries, besides two destroyers, the "Ciscar" and "José Luis Diez", a torpedo and three submarines, several mine sweepers and armed trawlers.
If British or French shipping has been stopped by insurgent craft, this undoubtedly took place beyond the three mile limit, and is due to the lack of defence which a convoy would ensure. If protection, such as was given to merchant shipping after the debate in the House of Commons in reference to the alleged blockade of Bilbao, was now given, that is, a convoy up to the three mile limit in front of the entrance to the port, I can state categorically that no damage could be inflicted.
I appeal to you once more to use all your influence to obtain security for food ships and those transporting refugees for, believe me, the need is even greater now than hitherto