By the Editor
General Franco's dismissal of his brother-in-law, Serrano Suner, from the posts of Foreign Minister and political head of the Falange, and of General Varela from the Ministry of War, is essentially an affair of internal Spanish politics, but it can scarcely fail to have wider reactions.
Op the Feast of the Assumption a disgfaceful episode took place in Bilbao. After Mass, at which General Varela and other notabilities attended, bombs were thrown at the congregation, and about 70 people were injured. The police failed to take effective action. and the three criminals concerned were not arrested at the time. When they were subsequently caught, they were found to be three thugs, imported from Valladolid in circumstances which left no doubt that the outrage had been instigated by certain anti-clerical elements not unconnected with the Falange.
The affair was indeed an example of the Falange opposition to the Christianmonarchist-traditionalist clement in the new Spain, SERIOUS TNNSION The seriousness of the tension between the Falangists (who represent the radical-Fascists and are fundamentally socialists) and the Traditionalists (who are more moderate and Christian reformers) is evidenced by General Franco's characteristically strong action on behalf of Spain. The popular leaders of both are dismissed, but General Jordana, an anti-Falangist, succeeds in Suner's place.
Of Suner's Nazism and anticlericalism there can he no doubt. It is known, for example. that Suner, after his audience with the Pope, said to his entourage, " Ese tio es imposible " (" That fellow is impossible "). The Pope had, in fact, complained to him of Spain's treatment of Polish refugees.
The unity of Spain in circumstances of great difficulty is General Franco's aim, and he will follow whatever path seems to lead best to
it, so long as it is consistent with the aims of the Nationalist roovement, the fundamental Christianity of which is not in doubt.
Contrary to the suggestions made by Professor Allison Peers in an article on page 3. the present almost universal desire in Spain is for unity tinder the monarchy, This is vouched for by nonSpaniards in a position to know and who have only just kit the country. The difficulty in the way of a restoration of the monarchy is the great uncertainty of the future. Therefore, it is thought best irosome circles to introduce a transition government in the shape of a regency until there are greater signs of stability within and without.
One must also deeply regret Professor Peers' suggestion that an Allied victory would spell the doom of the Nationalists. That this may be so is precisely one of the chief causes of Spain's distrust of the Allies and sympathy with the Axis, From the Christian point of view, it is imperative that the United Nations should make"it clear that under no circumstances would they interfere with Spanish affair4, directly or indirectly, for we think that Professor Peers deceives himself if he thinks that a moderate republican regime will be possible in Spain for a very long time to come.
AXIS VICTORY ISIDOUBTED
Certainty of an Axis victory in Spain is diminishing, according to the same information. Spaniards are impressed by the evidence of the U.S.A.'s si'ar effort. and the entry of Brazil into the war has created even more stir there than in Portugal. At the same time, the influence of the Germans remains great, and all Madrid papers, except Ya, are either in their control or owned by a Hungarian who was once Goebbels' right-hand man. • Why this state o/ affairs is allowed to continue is something 01 a puzzle, but there may be method in the madness. The Spaniard takes a strong dislike to anyone who tries to browbeat .hint. I,, fact he tends to rake a dislike to any foreigner of st.hom he sees too much. it is not alto gether fanciful to suggest that the Spaniard's native independence of mind A strengthened. not weakened, by Nazi bullying and Nazi bullies.
The latest news is, then, an indication of the strengthening of Spanish independence in a Christian, monarchist and traditionalist sense. The clever nursing of that position will repay the United Nations and all that is Christian and constructive in our cause.