Page 9, 20th August 1937

20th August 1937
Page 9
Page 9, 20th August 1937 — FATHER GABANA SPAIN
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Locations: Bilbao, Barcelona

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FATHER GABANA SPAIN

BREAKS FORCED SILENCE AFTER MANY MONTHS Prosperity of the National Movement

Large in the news of all the British Press a few months ago was that Fr. Henry Gabana, the Barcelona priest, had been forbidden to refer to Spain at any meeting held in this country.

The ban by the Home Office was made possible, it will be recalled, by the same technical formula of an Act which was cleverly punctured to enable Scher Moreno, a supporter of Red Spain, to speak when and where he liked.

Today is the first opportunity since the ban that Fr. Gdbana has had once again to point out to the English people the justice of the Nationalist cause. He has been in Spain for some weeks and has had time to revise any opinions which he previouslylheld. It will be seen from the following summary of the social conditions in Spain that his previous convictions remain unshaken.

How a Nation is Rebuilt

By FATHER HENRY GABANA

After a month of travelling from place to place in order to get fully acquainted with the present conditions in Spain, I realise more than ever how foolish was the attitude of English politicians and churchmen who went to Red Spain for a few clays and, in spite of not understanding a word of Spanish, gave long reports about the conditions of the country and the causes of the war.

Great Changes

Many things have changed in Spain. The rich class has practically disappeared.

Prominent members of the aristocracy are fighting side by side with peasants and workers. You would not see any difference between them. They are all equal in their love for religion and country.

The priest has also found a suitable place in this National movement. Every military unity has its chaplain who fulfils his spiritual duties in regard to the soldiers and who at the same time is an agent of union between the combatants and their families. He is in permanent touch with those who fight and with those who suffer.

Every function that takes place has its religious aspect, and the priest occupies his due place praying, preaching or giving salutary advice. The anniversary of the civil war, for instance, was a day of re joicing and of mourning of rejoicing for the liberation of such a large part of the country during the previous year; of mourning and praying for the hundreds of thousands of honest dead.

Agriculture Flourishing Harvesting is now in full swing and Nationalist Spain will not starve. The fields wherever 1 have been are covered with golden wheat.

I was in Burgos the day of its yearly fair and have never seen so many cattle in my life. Bread and meat will be plentiful. The same I can say about fruits, wine, vegetables and other agricultural products.

I write from Bilbao, the industrial town. It is a little more than a month since the Red-Separatist Government and army were dislodged. Bilbao has the healthy appearance of a big town. The extremist elements escaped with the Red army but many less Red have remained and have gone back to the factories.

Those who had not committed crimes are not molested.

New Trade Unions It has been said in England that General Franco has dissolved trade unions. It is only half of the truth. General Franco has dissolved the Marxist trade unions which imposed their tyranny on thousands of workers who were forced to join them with the alternative of losing their jobs. but other trade unions. have been created.

It is a fact that in Bilbao as in every industrial town in Nationalist Spain every profession has its trade union. Their notices appear in the papers. The British Labour Party which has shown in so many ways its sympathy for the Spanish Reds should understand that in the Nationalist Spain trade union membership will be compulsory to every worker in order to have their rights defended and protected by the new State.

Christian Freedom Franco has repeatedly said that every Spaniard has a right to practise his religion, to work and to have that comfort in life which every Christias should have. He has said that every Spanish home must have a fire in its hearth and bread on its table.

There is no unemployment in the Nationalist Spain. Orphans, widows and refugees from the Red zone are all well attended and looked after by private and public contributions. We had " Auxilio de Invierno (winter help) and we have now " Auxilio Social (social help) which attends with complete efficiency to these matters.

It is a .striking feature in the new Spain that in spite of being in civil war you will not see a beggar anywhere. The State and public charitable institutions keep the destitute.




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