Letter From Mussolini to General Franco.
The Chief of Government and Duce of Fascism
ROME, August 25, 1940
To the Head of the Spanish Government
Generalissimo Don FRANCISCO FRANCO BAHAMONDE
I thank you for the letter which you have sent me, and in which you sketch the position of Spain in the present stage of the war.
I should like to make it clear to you at once, that your letter has not surprised me.
Ever since the outbreak of the war I have been constantly of the opinion that "your" Spain, the Spain of the Falange Revolution, could not remain neutral until the end of the war, but at the right moment would change to non-belligerency and finally to intervention.
Should that not happen, Spain would alienate herself from European history, especially the history of the future, which the two victorious Axis powers will determine.
Furthermore, she would have no moral justification for the solution of her African questions, and, let me say to you, a victorious revolution must set itself extreme goals of an international type, such goals, therefore, as can, at a given moment, require the complete attention and the total effort of a people.
It is clear to me that Spain, after three years of civil war, needed a long period of recuperation, but events will not permit it, and your domestic economic condition will not get worse when you change from non-belligerency to intervention.
I should like to say to you, dear Franco, that I, with these my practical considerations, do not wish to hasten you in the least in the decision that you have to make, for I am sure that in your decisions you will proceed on the basis of the protection of the vital interests of your people and am just as certain that you will not let this opportunity go by of giving Spain her African Lebensraum.
There is no doubt that after France, Great Britain will be defeated; the British regime exists only on one single element: the lie.
I certainly do not need to tell you that you, in your aspirations, can count on the full solidarity of Fascist Italy.
I beg you, dear Franco, to accept my most cordial and comradely greetings.
Source: THE SPANISH GOVERNMENT AND THE AXIS : Documents - DEPARTMENT OF STATE Publication 2483 - EUROPEAN SERIES 8 - Washington, DC : Government Printing Office, 1946. Published online by The Avalon Project at Yale Law School
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