14, Eccleston Square,
TEL: VICTORIA 0926.
14th July, 1939.
I have pleasure in enclosing herewith for your interest some extracts from an article by Matio Appelius, which appeared in Sr. Mussolini's own newspaper, Il Popolo d 'Italia, on June 20, 1939.
You will see that it is propaganda for home consumption directed against Great Britain and the Basque Country; and its main interest would seem to be the view it gives of Italy's attitude towards what they consider to have been Britain's control of Spain through the Basque Country.
It may not be necessary for me to point out the gross inaccuracies in the article, which you will appreciate from the picture given of Britain's alleged activities, but I feel that I must at least emphasise the absurdity of the claim that President Aguirre declared over the radio that he would return to Bilbao at the head of the British Fleet, and that Bilbao was the stronghold of Communism in Spain.
The writer is also, of course, a victim of wishful thinking when he says that the Basque Country, has accepted General Franco's "totalitarian union of Spain", and that she is willing to relinquish her old ties of friendship with Great Britain; exactly the opposite is the truth.
Jose I. de Lizaso
Sir Walter Citrine, K.B.E,