THE TABLET A WEEKLY NEWSPAPER AND REVIEW

ESTABLISHED 1840 REGISTERED AS A NEWSPAPER

VOL. 170 No. 5085

LONDON OCTOBER 23rd, 1937

SIXPENCE

AUTUMN BOOK NUMBER

THE CLASSICS AND USURY

A Study of Social Justice in Antiquity

By Aloysius Roche

THE BIBLE AS LITERATURE

By T. S. Gregory

DEMOCRACY AND FOREIGN RELATIONS

Editorial

Full Contents List on page 540.

THE WORLD WEEK BY WEEK The Fall of Gijon

With the fall o f Gijon the Asturias campaign has reached its term. The past weeks have been occupied by a series o f elaborate flanking movements in the high hills which turned the defences of Gijon. The Nationalists are now in easier country and this, perhaps the most formidable campaign from the point o f view of the territory and the fierce character o f the opposition, admittedly ends with the fall of the last stronghold. The frontier will now become the country between Sarragossa and Madrid, where the Nationalists are already far extended at Tereul towards Valencia. It is expected th a t the Valencia Government will move itself to Barcelona, and it will be obvious to the whole world that the only practical question is, what sort o f a defence it can put up, not what sort of offensives its conscripted army can undertake. The Italian Gesture

The Italian initiative has rescued the Non-Intervention Committee from its deadlock, leaving only the Soviet highly disgruntled at the prospect of an agreement between powers whom it is anxious to keep apart. The Italian concession is a small one, the postponement o f belligerent rights only after some token withdrawals o f volunteers from each side have taken place. In retrospect it will be plain to everybody th a t an altogether unnecessary fuss has been made about granting and withholding these belligerent rights, primarily a right of search at sea. But then, the major characteristic o f the whole crisis has been the undue magnification o f small matters, and the ignoring of one or two very large ones. When the Non-Intervention Committee met on Wednesday the Portuguese Ambassador made a long speech, which was in many quarters considered a rather vexatious irrelevance, because it dealt with the Communist threat not merely to Spain, but to Portugal. To the Portuguese who knew that they were marked down to be the next victims, British sluggishness towards this crucial aspect is a matter for perpetual pained surprise. I t has undoubtedly led us into an excessive nervousness about Italian intentions. A great many people, many of them in official circles, can only think easily in the familiar terms of territorial acquisition, which was the way in which they learnt their history a t school. Having first persuaded themselves about the enormous scale of Italian intervention in Spain, they then ask themselves what the Italians are going to get out o f it, and easily decide that the Italians mean to remain for ever to hold parts like Cadiz, and in short to add Spain to North Africa as a new province of a revived Roman Empire. These extravagances are quite seriously entertained, when the tru th of the matter is th a t the Italian Fascists are fighting what is, from their point of view, an essential