THE TABLET

A WEEKLY NEWSPAPER AND REVIEW

VOL. 168 No. 5025

ESTABLISHED 1840 R EG ISTERED AS A N EW S PA P E R

LONDON AUGUST 29th, 1936

SIXPENCE

PRINCIPAL CONTENTS

THE WORLD WEEK BY WEEK

.261

SPAIN; FRANCE; PORTUGAL; RUSSIA; PALESTINE; EGYPT; GERMANY CATHOLICS AND S P A I N ...................... 264 THE WEEP AND WAIL CORPS . 265 RELIGION IN THE AGE OF REVOLUTION 265

By CHRISTOPHER DAWSON BOSWELL, VOLTAIRE AND RELIGION .. 267

By ALFRED NOYES M O N T G O M E R Y C A R M IC H A E L ’S 270

W R I T I N G S ............................................... By DAVID MATHEW

OUR LADY OF S A L E T T E ............................. 272 DIARY OF A RELIGIOUS IN BARCELONA 273 THE CHURCH ABROAD ............................. 274

BELGIUM; GERMANY; SPAIN BOOK REVIEWS ........................................ 278

Mr. BELLOC; SPIRITUALISM ; SHINING AND FREE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR . 282 CHESS AND CROSSWORD.............................286 THE CALENDAR ........................................ 288

THE WORLD WEEK BY WEEK The Time Factor in Spain

The employment of Moorish troops in the sieges of Irun and San Sebastian is a measure of the difficulty the anti-Government forces are meeting with in the essential business of reducing strongholds so near to the French frontier. No city comparable to San Sebastian has yet been taken, except Badajoz, which the Moroccans stormed. With the small number of troops engaged and the erratic and largely amateurish bombing by such ships and aeroplanes as are available, siege works enjoy a much greater importance than they would have enjoyed in a large-scale war. It should not, however, be assumed that the slow progress of the anti-Government forces is an important factor aiding the Government. That would have been the case had this been simply a military rising ; but it is much more than that. The military provided the first impetus, but they provided it when a large proportion of Spaniards had come to think that something drastic and decisive would have to be done to arrest the gathering anarchy. The tragedy is that the insurrection is half-way between being a military stroke and a general revulsion of public opinion. The generals are sufficiently widely supported to be relieved of any necessity for immediate decisive results. They are not sufficiently supported for their victory to be assured. The accounts from Madrid make it increasingly plain that the Government is ceasing to be obeyed by the Anarchist and Communist associations, who are bearing the brunt of the defence. Even inside Madrid the Government cannot impose its will on people on whom it is relying for the external defence of the city.

There is some hope that the conclusion of a pact of non-intervention by the chief Powers may be followed by definite proposals which will stop the murders and the slaughter of prisoners in which both sides are engaging. That slaughter is partly caused by ferocity and haired, but it is also the result of the even balance of strength in so many cities and through so much of the countryside. A scheme by which prisoners could be passed to the coast and removed temporarily and until the country is pacified, is one which the Powers can put forward, and one which each side has strong motives for accepting. But it is also recognized that terror is at present keeping a great many people out of the Civil War who would take part if its savageries did not deter them, and it is only too possible that what might be gained, humanely speaking, in the lives of prisoners, might be lost in the increasing number of casualties in improvised civilian warfare. But the main difficulty is that while the generals have the advantage of military discipline over their troops and adherents, the Government at Madrid cannot speak in the same way for its nominal supporters. In the towns, of which Barcelona is the chief, in which a local council of one or other of the revolutionary groups is openly in command, such groups are the bodies with whom negotiations would have to be conducted. The reality and range of the authority such bodies wield varies from day to day, and the worst excesses are those committed by mobs under no control. Pressure on M. Blum

M. Blum and his Cabinet are not finding it easy to maintain the middle course which they have set themselves. No sooner had they come into power, in May, than a series of strikes was organised to show them that the extreme Left meant business. The Government pledged itself to considerable social legislation without delay. Now similar pressure is being put on M. Blum to support the Spanish Government. The mass demonstrations in Lille, when