Page 9, 25th June 1937

25th June 1937
Page 9
Page 9, 25th June 1937 — FRANCO SPEAKS ABOUT ENGLAND —And the League of Nations
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People: FRANCO SPEAKS
Locations: Geneva

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FRANCO SPEAKS ABOUT ENGLAND —And the League of Nations

In the course of a recent interview given by General Franco to the French newspaper, Le Journal, the Spanish leader made interesting references to the relations between Spain anci Great Britain.

" We Spaniards have always regarded a good understanding with England as the first article of our political creed," he said in answer to the suggestion that England felt misgivings at the possibility of a Latin bloc which could dominate the Mediterranean.

" Does England prefer the ports of Spain to become Russian ports? We Latins are renewing our ties of friendship that bind us together economically and culturally. Is it riot very natural? How can such a rapprochement threaten anybody? We greatly regret the sort of moral rupture that has taken place between England and Italy. When, in defiance of international treaties, the Red fleet anchored off Tangier, did we not turn first to England? Had she not refused to intervene, we should not have been obliged to act ourselves."

The League of Nations

" What attitude will you adopt towards the League of Nations?" he was asked.

" When we are masters of our own country we shall take over all the engagements entered into formally by Spain. She has more than once found occasion at Geneva to serve the cause of peace. She will simply regain her position in the League of Nations and act in the same spirit of European concord. Now, I suppose, that is the last question?"

" Do I Look Like a Conqueror ? "

This declaration of ultimate confidence in the League followed General Franco's assurance that he did not regard Might as the proper means of settlement of international troubles.

"That is a grave mistake. I have seen too much of war to like it. And, when we have finally delivered Spain—which, I would have you remark, is not directly mixed up in any point in dispute—we shall have a sufficiently large task at home to take up all our activity: Moreover, we hope, thanks to our position on the circumference, to play a role of constant mediation in the world. That is all our Imperialism. Look at me. Do I look like a ' Conquistador'?"

In the course of another interview given to the Vitoria Correspondent of The Times. Franco stated that " Gibraltar could not be the root cause of an anti-British policy in Spain. For England Gibraltar has lost much of its importance."

The fundamental antithesis between Nationalist Spain and the chaos of the Bolshevist zone had not yet, he said, been appreciated by British public 'opinion, although it was understood and appreciated by those who had lived for many years in Spain.

" The Spanish public." he said, " has been grievously surprised by this lack of understanding on the part of the British Government, who have abundant material on which to take steps to prevent this equivocal attitude. which prejudices the present and future traditional relations of amity between England and Spain."




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