A Breach of the Englishman's Code
wE did not refer last week to a pecu
liarly unpleasant—or shall I say " un-English "—way of acting on the part of one of our great dailies because it seemed that the least said about such behaviour the better. But I see that another of our national organs has taken it up in a leader.
The paper in question—for its own sake I shall refrain from mentioning its name— received news about Spain from a London address, and a forward reporter went nosing around to find out all about it. Thus he met a well-known English journalist with a life-long experience on some of our greatest papers.
Franco's Publicity Agent
"Are you Franco's Publicity Agent in England?" he asked.
The journalist had no particular desire to conceal the fact, but for obvious reasons of general convenience he did not want it published in the press. Relying, therefore, on the traditional code between journalists he answered that he was but that he did not want the fact published.
What was his surprise next morning to find the interview published in the reporter's paper, and published with quite an astounding cynicism. On being asked whether he was Franco's agent," the paper stated, " he acknowledged that he was but added that he did not want it mentioned."
There the matter might have rested, but a day or so later one of the evening papers argued in a vielent leader that sympathy for Franco among high places in this country was due to the pressure brought 10 bear
by Franco's publicity in this country, now being run by an English journalist.
Poor Franco's one puny effort in this country to do something to arrest the floods of pro-Red propaganda that reach not merely offices of great journals but thousands of Englishmen's doorsteps—and a great English paper denounces it as dangerous!
British Fair Play.
No doubt many indefensible things on Franco's side have been conveniently passed over even among his apologists in this country, but can one wonder at it? The utter unfairness, the utter one-sidedness of the general opinion in this country—of which the above incidents are tiny examples —are enough to arouse the passions of any man who has a sense of fair play.
Britain used to make such a lot of its fair play, sporting sense. Where has it disappeared to today? I fear it is lost, together with that code of decency which once would have prevented a gross and cynical betrayal of confidence like the one I have just described. And I forgot to mention that the piece of " propaganda" sent to the paper which is said to have so harmful an effect on men in high position in this country was nothing more than the full text of Franco's speech at the declaration of the unification of the Spanish parties!
Listening-in To Spain
I wish my education in foreign languages had been more complete. I have just started listening-in to Spain. There seems to be no difficulty in getting Madrid on the short-waves at about nine o'clock (31.65 m.) and Salamanca just beyond RadioNormandie. A Madrid medium wave station comes through late at night at 410
m. With a knowledge of French, Italian and Latin the general drift of talks in Spanish can be made out. I was surprised to hear Madrid referring to the other side as " Nationalists " on one occasion, but not so surprised at the manifestly communist nature of the speeches. The use of " comrade," the constantly re-iterated cry Long live the Soviet Union " and the singing again and again of the " Internationale." leave one in no doubt that the Reds are truly Reds.
Wise and Otherwise
• " Out of my original capital of £500 I have already lost £2.000."—Speculator Overheard.
" The transformation which has come over the British Empire this last half century makes its defence not the defence of imperialism, but of democracy, a truth which the power of names and symbols has obscured."—Norman Angell.
" It is a strange experience, for one who has lived these twenty-five years as a Marxian socialist, to see how in proportion as the Soviet regime drops overboard one by one every vestige of socialism, the liberal schelars and literateurs of the whole world come over to socialism and rally with extreme emotion to the defence of the U.S.S.R."—Max Eastman.
" What kind of a country is an Eire?" —I. M. N. Jeffries,