THE TABLET

A WEEKLY NEWSPAPER AND REVIEW

ESTABLISHED 1840 REG IS TERED AS A N EW S PA P E R

VOL. 168 No. 5021

LONDON AUGUST 1st, 1936

SIXPENCE

PRINCIPAL CONTENTS

THE WORLD WEEK BY WEEK :

THE ARMY AND THE CHURCH IN SPAIN ; THE EFFECTS OUTSIDE SPAIN ; BRITAIN’S VITAL INTERESTS ; THE TREATY WITH EGYPT ; PARLIAMENT AND THE MEANS TEST THE CHALLENGE FROM THE LEFT A REMEMBERED D E A T H ........................ A CENTURY OF GERMAN CATHOLICISM —II .......................................................... NEW ENGLAND PURITANISM

By ARNOLD LUNN THE PSYCHOLOGY OF ASCETICISM ..

By AID AN ELRINGTON, O.P. SPIRITUAL FAVOURS ........................

133 136 137 137 138 140 141

LONDON, PARIS AND ROME LETTERS .. 141 THE CHURCH ABROAD

GERMANY; JUGO-SLAVIA; BELGIAN CONGO; CHINA; 1AA NIGERIA 1 4 4 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

ENGLISH PRIESTS IN SPAIN; THE MEANS TEST; LOVE, , A tCOURTSHIP AND MARRIAGE ; HENRY GRATTAN 1 4 0 THE NEW BOOKS

SAINTS AND SANCTITY ; TWO STUART KNIGHTS ; THE , AQ DECLINE OF ART ; A TOAST TO REBELLION 1 4 8 CROSSWORD AND CHESS . . . . 155 THE APOSTOLATE OF THE COUNTRY­

SIDE ............................................... ..158 THE CALENDAR ........................................ 160

THE WORLD WEEK BY WEEK The Spanish Tragedy

The civil war in Spain is still raging with unabated fury, without there being as yet any indication as to which side is gaining the upper hand. At the time of writing the advantage would seem to lie with the Marxists, but everything points to the struggle being prolonged for several weeks. Reports that have come in from eye-witnesses of some of the fighting, even allowing for a certain measure of exaggeration, tell of the most terrible atrocities. The more protracted the fighting, the longer a decisive victory by either side is delayed, the more merciless and bitter will the struggle become. It has reached such dimensions already that the whole population must soon be drawn into it. It is no longer a struggle between extremists of both wings ; all the middle parties have been drawn in on one side or the other, and it has become a death-struggle between the whole of the Right and the whole of the Left.

Broadly speaking, the revolution can be described as a class war, but in reality the groupings of Right and Left cut across the ordinary distinctions of class. Religious issues are as much at stake as purely political or economic ones, and all those Spaniards who wish to see the Church survive in Spain will have had to side with the insurgents. Already there is scarcely a church standing in Barcelona ; such as have not been destroyed have been taken over as Communist centres ; all church property, including the episcopal palace, has been confiscated by the Red committee which is ruling the city. Once more the Church has had no choice. Her destiny this time has been decided for her by the army leaders, and her fortune is linked with theirs.

Ever since 1821 the army has been the deciding factor in nearly every political issue in Spain, though it has not always taken the same side. In 1821 the section that revolted with Riego declared for Liberalism against the .old order ; later it sided with the Conservatives against the excesses of the Liberals. It brought about the downfall of Isabella II, and ushered in the period of Liberalism that led to the first republic, yet it also destroyed that republic and restored the monarchy. In 1923 it swept away parliamentary government, yet in 1930 it was the military insurrection at Jaca that paved the way for the downfall of the monarchy a few months later. The Army as a Political Factor

Most of these classical pronunciamientos were either bloodless affairs or gave rise to but minor skirmishes. It was sufficient for a general or even a lesser officer to declare against the government for the cabinet to resign. This enormous power wielded by the army made of its officers a special privileged class, and it was this privileged class with its latent political power that the republic of 1931 set itself to destroy. Señor Azaña, who as Minister of War was responsible for the reform of the army, claimed at the time that the evil of military intervention in politics was at last eradicated for ever. The ignominious failure of General Sanjurjo to bring about his downfall seemed to prove conclusively that he was right.

The Right-Centre governments that followed the elections of 1933 brought a lull in the process of army reform. The reasons for Señor Gil Robles’ insistence on being given charge of the Ministry of War are shrouded in obscurity, but the probability is that he considered the weakening of the army removed the only bulwark against any attempt of the Marxists to seize power by force. With the return of the Left to power last February, the seeding out of politically suspect officers was carried out with greater vigour than before. This, coupled with the spread of Communism among the rank and file, induced the army leaders to make this last desperate bid for power before the army was converted into an instrument for the achievement of the Marxist state, as it undoubtedly would have been.