From Our Diplomatic Correspondent
Another anti-Pope outburst from Moscow this week is linked this time with snarls at Franco. The Holy Father is referred to by Fedor Goluhev in the Soviet periodical War and the Working Class as " Franco's Godfather."
At the same time the British press give prominence to headaches being caused to Franco's Government by some 4,000 Spanish thugs, ex-Red Civil War fighters who, (caring, with good reason, to return to Spain. have sheltered all along in Southern France. They have been liberally armed by the Allies, who parachuted weapons to French resisters of the Nazi occupation of their own country, and who— we hope—did not know that the Spaniards in France would make use of them to endanger our good relations with Spain. They have used them in raids across the border. during which they succeeded in occupying four villages.
Both stories are closely related. Goluhev would welcome a reopening of
the Civil War. He says : Spain figures in I-laterite plans as a protected breeding-ground of Fascism. The future security of Europe requires that the hotbed of Fascist infection in Spain be totally liquidated."
In his personal attack on the Pope, Goluhev recalls his visit as Cardinal Pacelli to the U.S.A. in 1936, and adds: " After this, all proposals for American assistance to Spain's lawful Government against the Franco mutiny were knocked on the head."
" DAILY WORKER'S" LINE
The Daily Worker takes an unusual line. Rather than applaud, as Goluhev and his colleagues doubtless do, the little guerrilla warfare Spanish Reds have begun on the frontier, it denies
The Pope Promises to Pray
The Pope has promised to say special prayers for the deaf and dumb child of a South African private soldier who attended one of the Pope's special audiences to Allied troops last week.
Before the audience the South African approached Fr. J. F. Roberts. Rome Area Command British Catholic Chaplain, and asked if he could arrange for him to speak with the Pope during the audience. He was not himself a Catholic, but his wife, who was, had asked him to ask the Popes prayers for their 4-year-old son, who was deaf and dumb.
Fr. Roberts obtained a good position for the soldier at the Throne end of the Hall of Benedictions, and when the Pope came he was able to speak to him for six or seven minutes. The Pope showed deep interest its the story of the South African's child and sent a special Apostolic Blessing. He promised that he, would himself pray for the child, and told the South African that he was to tell his wife of this promise. its ever having taken place, and blames a " lie factory in Paris " for the story; it takes' as gospel truth the reports of two visitors to Toulouse who said they saw no signs of frontier disturbance. (Toulouse, by the way, is some 70 miles from the frontier at, the crow flies, and well over 100 from the Gascony area where the Tines reports the trouble to have occurred.) Readers of the Daily Worker, diSappointed no doubt at-its silence about the facts, have had to learn them from a plentiful supply of reports, which will encourage them to believe that Red revenge is at last in sight and that Franco will he overthrown. They may not be too pleased to learn, however, that (says the Times) "after 1940 many (of these Spaniards) took employment with Germans who offered them high wages," and that " they refused to take
orders front French leaders with whom they competed for the possession of arms dropped by parachute." Mischievous propaganda (one can well guess its source) is justifying the raids across the border with the story that right over the mountains and facing the Spaniards from France is an army of " 40,000 perfectly equipped Germans, regrouped in Spain after their flight before the advancing Allies." It isn't clear who performed the miracle of re-equipping and regrouping such a huge force in the remarkably short space of time of a month or so.
We learn from the Spanish Embassy in London that the mirage the Reds can see across the border reduces itself to some 1,200 Germans, including civilians, men, women and children. who on entering Spain " were interned in accordance with international law."