14 AUGUST 1936, Page 1

Spain and Europe The diplomatic exchanges caused by the Spanish

revolt have reached stalemate ; we may congratulate ourselves it is not worse, for at least the threat of inter- vention, which would- mean ._war, has been averted. Greatlaritain, the U.S.S.R., Gerrnany, and Italy have all responded to the French desire for a general declara- tion in favour of non-intervention ; though Italy has qualified her reply by the impossible condition that " moral support " be regarded as intervention. But in fact the dictators are playing for time, in the belief that a rebel victory is assured ; the value of their diplo- matic passivity at this stage is decreased by the suspicion that Italy at least has done and is doing much to make that victory possible. M. Blum is playing against time. So long as the Madrid Government is threatened, popular pressure upon him to intervene will increase ; he can resist it only if he can secure an agreement which will effectually prevent any help being given to the rebels. If he does not succeed, and if the rebels make further gains, his own Government and European peace will be in danger. In these Circumstances, and for our own security, it is our duty to give M. Blum every support ; it cannot be overemphasised that a rebel victory would be a threat to that command of the entry to the Mediter- ranean which is one of the most vital of British interests.