"SPAIN NOW EXISTS"
Monday, April 1, was a national holiday in Spain to mark the first anniversary of the end of the war. At a great military parade in Madrid huge crowds gathered to watch the battalions of soldiers and Falangists and to cheer General Franco.
The tenor of the decorations along the route of the parade was that the new Spain desired peace with all nations.
Senor Stiller, Minister of the Interior, warned Spain that she must give her full weight to the solving of the problems of reconstruction after the three years of war.
At a reunion of generals of the Headquarters Staff after the parade affirmations of loyalty to General Franco were made. In reply Franco referred to the heavy responsibilities that victory had brought. " Spain now exists," he said, " and speaks outright to the world."
He hinted at insidious attacks that might be made on the new Spain by enemies, and asked for discipline and faith to meet such attacks.
By a Special Correspondent On March 28, 1939, Nationalist troops entered Madrid. The golden and scarlet flag was hoisted on the balcony of the Government Palace next to the white flag of surrender. Crowds stood in the streets to welcome the soldiers who brought them food. On the Sunday before the fall of the capital, General Franco had declared in a broadcast: "We are forging a great Spain for all Spaniards."
On the First of April the war was ended. ' The work of reconstruction began. After a year—not the happiest of years to begin any work of building up, of reverting to peace, of cultivating one's garden—certain works or reconciling the people who were enemies among themselves, and of effacing the ruin of three years of war, have been accomplished.
In the terms of international diplomacy and international trade Spain has become normal again. She has resumed diplomatic relations with every country in the world except Russia and Mexico. She has signed trade agreements with Britain, France, Bulgaria, Norway, Portugal. Agreement with Italy is pending, BO is agreement with Japan—whither a commercial delegation went from Spain this week.
Ten Year Plan Germany has trading organisations within Spain called HINSA. Since the war against Hitler began HINSA has shrunk. Blame is administered in equal portions to Churchill and the British blockade.
Financially Spain is not out of the
wood, not by a long way, but she can distinguish the trees. The internal loan issued at the end of September, 1939, was heavily over-subscribed. Like the internal loans of most nations it has been called by its sponsors a triumphant suceees. This paragraph from The Times
of October 3, quoting from Reuter, seems to point reason for the jubilation: " Madrid, Sept. 30.—The Government's internal loan of 2,000,000,000 pesetas, or approximately £40,000,000, which was launched yesterday, has been quickly over-subscribed, applications totalling nearly three times the
amount offered. The loan, bearing interest at 3 per cent. and redeemable in three years, is the first to be issued by the Nationalist Government. It has as its object the redemption of the national debt prior to June 18, 1936."
Kitchens and Clinics For the people of Spain there has been the struggle for food; and though the rice fields of Valencia have been resown and the potato crop of Teruel has been intensified, yet such has been the devastation of the land in the Red areas, partly by war, partly by neglect, that still many of the normal sources of food supply are not in production.
These are the difficulties that have prompted the Ten Year Plan outlined by Senor Sufier, Minister of the Interior, at the beginning of 1940; for the economic restoration of Spain, beginning with the intensive cultivation of 500,000 hectares Of irrigated land.
Apart from the huge work of the Auxilio Socials, which includes the running of nurseries, holiday camps and orphanages for children, homes for old people, hostels for expectant mothers, public restaurants, clinics and kindergartens, women of Spain have given, through the women's branch of the Spanish Phalanx, their energies towards the improvement of home life all over the country, towards the reviving of home industries.
Restoring Home Industries
In a recent Press interview Senorita Primo de Rivera, head of the Women's Phalanx, said: "In the poorer homes of Spain Pi great dead of education is required, from the duties of wife and mother to household management and hygiene.
"One of the main branches of our work is the revival of home industries. In Spain home industries represent a tradition which i,s purely family. . . . They are a positive spiritual force or great influence on the common welfare because of their quantity and traditional nature."
The preserving of Spanish music and dance, as well as the designing of peasants' homes and the organisation of physical culture, have also been, during the year of peace, activities undertaken by the Women's Phalanx.
The National Anti-Tuberculosis Association—which is a public institution under the authority of the Minister of the Interior—has been active. The Association works on the following principles: " There should be sanatorium accommodation for every person suffering from the disease. The charge for hoarding a patient will be in proportion to the patient's means, all services being entirely free for the poor." Bad housing, which in many cases has helped to spread the disease, is being remedied in the cities and villages all over Spain.
The religious orders have gone bace to Spain. Catholic schools and churches are reopened. In the episcopal seminary of Barcelona there are now 220 pupils. The rebuilding has begun on ruined churches.