What Spain Is Thinking
From Our Staff Reporter
Mr. Arnold Lunn, who has just returned from Spain, where he was a guest of the Government, gave me some of the impressions he gained during his visit. He discusses the attitude of Spaniards to the Spanish Socialists, to Russia, Germany, the United States, South America, and ourselves.
First of all, I asked Mr. Lunn what Spain is thinking about us. "The supporters of the Government," he said, " ask, with some justice, if we are so anxious to impose democracy on other countries, why don't they begin with Russia and Yugoslavia '? They also ask why, if Spain is to be excluded from world trade union conferences, the British didn't follow the lead of the Americans in their attempt to exclude the Russian trade unions.
SELECTIVE DEMOCRACV 'The Spaniards are not impressed by this ' selective ' democracy. They are inclined to think we are humbug', When I was a gyest of honour at a dinner given to me by the Foreign Minister, Sr. Artajo, I raised the question of the position of Protestants and also of such prisoners, a small number. who are still detained for political opinions. t indicated I was not happy on either point. '' A Spanish friend who was present asked me how many English Protestants had protested against the wholesale massacre of priests and how many English Liberals had protested against the wholesale massacre of Conservatives. Certainly the position of Spanish Protestants (who have freedom of worship) and of Spanish Socialists is infinitely preferable to Catholics or Conservatives under the Red regime.
rhe supporters of the Government naturally hope fiat better itelations with England, but many of them realise that no such relations are probable so long as Genera; Franco is at the head of the Government. 'The Spanish Socialists, some of whose leaders : saw look to England; the Spanish Communists to Russia— and the Spanish Communists are bitterly anti-English The Socialists, on the other hand, are anti-Russian, arid nobody hut extreme Communists have a good word to say for the Government of exiles in Mexico."
What about America's commercial relations with Spain 7 "The Americans are capturing a lot of business which should come to us, because the U S.A. manages to combine two roles—complete indifference to forms of Government in a country where they wish to do business, plus the maximum amount of official (and innocuous) rebuke in the public press."
And relations with France " Very strained. No Ambassador in either country, but behind the scenes, trade relations are improving. You must bear in mind that Spain has no foreign debt. If it were not for ideological vendettas Spain would have no difficulty in borrowing money because she punctiliously paid off the greater part of her debt to Italy and Germany. " So far as Spain's attitude to other countries is concerned—she doesn't like the French or the Germans or the
ItaliaSnhse. finds it 'less difficult to like the English than any other foreigners. This
is particularly true of the upper classes, so many of whom were educated in English Catholic schools. As to France, the Spaniards make the same point as they make about England-Paain is in prison but Communists who betrayed France befoie the collapse in 1940 are in the Cabinet."
And now It uscia, What is Spain thin kine aholo that couprrr
" To the Spaniard, other than the Communist, Russia is just Asia on the march. Again and again in history the westward march of Asia bas been halted with difficulty. Asia is fanatic and moves westward under slogans which vary in form but not in substance, for 'Allah is great and Mohammed is his prophet ultimately means much the same as Marx is great and Stalin is his prophet.'
Wrat are they thinking now about Germany? Wrat are they thinking now about Germany?
The Spaniards do not like the Germans, but they don't want Germany dismembered. ' Hitler's greatest crime: as a Swede remarked, ' was to destroy the balance between the Teuton and the Slav which is essential for Europe.' "