A number of Catholics were among the audience which heard a debate, arranged by the Bristol branch of the Royal Empire Society, between Lord Phillimore and Major J. Milner, Labour M.P. for SouthEast Leeds, on " The Spanish Situation in Relation to British Empire Interests."
Major Milner, who opened the discussion, submitted that Italian and German intervention in Spain was due to their desire to control what was probably the most important strategical position in the world with a view to their future domination of Europe. and was obviously a most formidable menace to British interests.
He said guns were mounted on both sides of the Straits of Gibraltar, and alleged that military aerodromes on the north coast of Spain had been erected in readiness for attack on France.
Lord Phillimore pointed out that the Government of Portugal, which was, in many ways, a key country for the British Empire, was heart and soul for General Franco, whereas Communist Russia had set forth, together with the Spanish Communist Party, that it intended the whole of the Iberian Peninsula. including Portugal. to be one Iberian Federation of Soviet Republics.
He said that it was natural that the Nationalists should set up guns to control the straits, and he added that there was no possibility of proving that the aerodromes were designed for use against France.