SOCIAL TEACHING IN DETAIL General Franco has given detailed answers to eight teasing questions on the new Spain.
The answers contain pledges on the question of the living and family wage, the application of Papal teaching, profit sharing, social security, protection of the consuming public, complete religious liberty.
The questions were put to him by Fr. Thorning, an American Professor of Sociology and Social History.
They are all formulated in order to discover the General's real mind in regard to the teachings of the Popes about social questions.
Q. What attention has Your Excellency given to the principles of justice for the working-man enunciated by Leo XIII in the Return Novarum and by Pius XI in the Quadragesimo Anuo?
A. As head of the Spanish nation, which looks to the Holy See for authoritative guidance in the supreme questions of ethical and moral practice, I have naturally studied with profound attention the pronouncements of our religious leaders upon the proposed solutions to the evil of social injustice in the world. Obviously, the doctrines of the papal encyclicals furnish a sound programme of social and economic reconstruction.
The application of these principles, however, must be considered in relation to the genius and traditions of the Spanish people. For that reason a number of my collaborators are making a detailed study of the methods of application that would be suitable for Spain.
Of this you may be certain: we shall provide a living wage for every agricultural and industrial worker.
Furthermore, the State will devise means to reward proportionately those who are charged with family responsibilities.
I believe firmly in the principle of the family wage.
One of our principal concerns in the midst of war has been the thorough preservation of family life. To the best of our ability we have avoided the necessity of conscripting the head of the house. In this respect our record contrasts favourably with that of our enemies who have conscripted soldiers without regard to their social obligations.
The fact that the Holy See has been prompt to recognise the Nationalist Government and to receive the credentials of our diplomatic representative in Rome is a proof that the Vatican has entire confidence in our conscientious desire to carry out the recommendations of the Rerum Novarum and the Quadragesimo Anno. The factory workers in the great industrial centre of Bilbao can give you first-hand testimony as to the efficacy of our programme of economic reconstruction.
Q. Is Your Excellency prepared to state that Spain will recognise the right of the workers to a share in the profits of industry?
A. Both employers and employees; will receive a share of the fruits of industrial pro-1 duction. This rule will apply to both native-; born and foreign capitalists. If the latter refuse to conform to our ideal of justice they will not be welcome in Spain.
Q. Does Your Excellency accept the principle that workers should be afforded a reasonable measure of security against the hazards of sickness, unemployment and old age?
A. Every enlightened nation gives; its hearty support to this principle. Spain will he in the forefront of this movement. Anyoes, who has followed our history for the past twelve months knows that our first care has been for those members of the civil population who were wrenelied from their homes and employment due to the conditions of anarchy and chaos which surrounded the victims of lied rule. Ask this question of the women and children who were rescued from starvation and suffering at 'Bilbao and Santauder. They have experienced at flrst-baud the comforts of onr policy of social security. On every hand the Spanish Army is hailed as the guarantee of peace and order, the indispensable pillars of social security.
Corporatism Q. Is Your Excellency committed to the ideal of the corporative Slate?
A. This is a general term and may be easily misunderstood.
Corporatism in Spain will grant to -every citizen the right to participate in the social and economic life of the country on the basis of his labours.
In other words, the prime requisite of civic responsibility will be function. In this way it will be possible to avoid the dangers which arise from corrupt polities or outmoded geographical divisions. I believe that this will be an effective antidote for separatism and particularism, two evils which have long plagued Spanish political life.
Our corporatism, however, will he indigenous, domestic. Spanish. It will be suited to the individualkin of tha Spanish personality. It will not be slavishly modelled upon foreign patterns. It should he noted for example, that the system of corporations set, up by Dr. Oliviera Salazar in Portugal is Iberian, not continental. We in Spain will fashion our own type of corporation in the arts, industry and professions.
Q. Does Your Excellency believe that there would be any danger of excessive State regimentation in this corporative system?
A. The present administration of Spain shows that this danger may be kept far in the background. We have not interfered with any of the legitimate demands of private enterprise.
Our sole purpose has been to prevent profiteering, the cancerous growth which springs from war and enriches a few at the expense of the great bulk of the population.
Every sincere foreign observer has commented upon the absence of profiteering in
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Nationalist Spain. Prices are altogether normal and in no case excessive. Indeed, there are numerous tiommodities which can be purchased at a price lower than that which was current at the outbreak of the war of liberation. This is not regimentation. It is a proper protection of the consuming public.
To he sure, the profits of brokers, speculators and middlemen have been curtailed, but business has not suffered.
Supplies of foodstuffs are plentiful and there is no hoarding, a phenomenon which usually
accompanies armed conflict. The State has been vigilant in punishing any attempted case of " gouging " and as a result temptations to this form of exploitation are few. The sonic principle applies to rents. Property-holders are entitled to a fair return on their investment. but they have not been permitted to engage in a wholesale kiting of rents. Revenues from property may be moderate but they have the advantage of steadiness and Recur it y Naturally, we cannot speak of a large-scale housing programme until all Spain has been liberated.
Q. What do you consider to be the prime needs of the farm population of Spain?
A. This question deserves thorough study. Lack of sufficient rainfall on the plateau regions of the peninsula makes the question
of irrigation of pivotal importance. But irrigation postulates a huge volume of water in year-round rivers. This condition does not exist throughout Spain. What water is available must be carefully husbanded and utilised. Reforestation will ha an undoubted boon. Diversification of crops. as in so many other countries, will also vastly improve the diet of the agricultural workers. Spain has the soil to produce rich crops of fruit and
vegetables. A. larger proportion of this pro
production can likewise be stepped up to an taken step by step with progress in the enormous extent. We have grazing land in cultivation of spiritual ideals. plenty and an excellent grade of stork animals. There is no reason why the exercise of creative imagination should not work miracles for the large number of Spaniards who till the snil. Modern machinery and 'scientific farm knowledge will complete the transformation.
Q. What will be the trade policy of Spain under Your Excellency's regime?
A. Spaiu will show a vigorous leadership in
the restoration of world trade. Up to the present. in spite of the severe strain of deity war, Spain has financed herself from the sale of products abroad. As a result, there has been a just, balance between imports and exports. Spaniel' iron, wool, cork and olive oil are highly prized articles of export.
On the other hand. Spain is an admirable market for textiles, electrical apparatus, farm machinery and automobiles. Buying and selliug is of the essence of trade. Spain is prepared to continue both on a sound basis of cash and credit. We have no desire to be isolated from world economy. And we believe the reciprocal trade treaties of the United States of America, eepeciall■ as they have been operative with South American countries, furnish interesting examples of how national benefits may he articulated with the trade exigencies of good neighbours. Spain, too. has excellent cultural and economie relations with the Republics of South America.
Q. What guarantees of religion does Your Excellency provide in Spain?
A. Spain guarantees complete religious liberty, as opposed to mere religious toleration, to all who believe in God. There will be no penalties in the realm of conscience.
In fact, a high realisation of religious and moral values is the most helpful motivation for a programme of social justice.
Advances in material civilisa,tion will be