A year ago Spain was plunged into a ghastly Civil War by mutinous officers, the instruments of the feudal, intolerant and mediaeval Spain which had refused to accept the young Spanish Republic, and to co-operate in the moderate social, agricultural and educational reforms of a Liberal character proposed by a duly elected popular Government. Spanish reaction deliberately chose Civil War, rather than accept the verdict of another General Election.
Nevertheless, the war in Spain was more than a military rebellion. From the outset there was German and Italian foreknowledge of and complicity in the revolt. German and Italian assistance was given to the rebels. In the absence of well-founded expectations of Italian and German co-operation, assuredly the rebellious generals would not have begun their bloody adventure.
Thus the conflict of economic interests and political and social ideals in Spain became at once indissolubly bound up with the external policy of the Fascist Powers. The interventionist policy of the Fascist Powers created a new and immediate danger of war in Europe, as a consequence of an attempt by Germany and Italy to change the strategic balance of power in the Western Mediterranean, and thus imperil the vital interests of France and Great Britain.
To avert this danger of war among the Great Powers and localise the civil conflict in Spain, French and British diplomacy invented the principle of non-intervention. This principle was accepted by Italy and Germany, and the other European Powers.
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The consequences are now visible to the whole world.
Out of the ranks of the workers and peasants the Spanish Government has created a new popular army to defend, reconquer and establish a modern Spain, emancipated from the tyrannous oligarchy which had misgoverned Spain for centuries. This new army - the miracle of its creation, its self-sacrifice and heroism - is the people's answer to those who deny that the Spanish Government possesses the confidence of the Spanish people.
The rebel generals, on the other hand, were obliged to bring back the Moors to Spain in order to further the interests of their friends. They have had substantial aid from the Italian and German troops and air forces. On the sea they have profited by the co-operation of the Italian and German navies.
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The Fascist Powers have not merely failed through inefficient administration to carry out their non-intervention obligations. It is not that arms have been smuggled into Spain from Germany and Italy. Germany and Italy formally recognised General Franco's Government as the legitimate