18 JULY 1931, Page 2

Spain The Constituent Cortes were opened in Madrid on July

14th. The Provisional Government—though there were moments when the adjective in their title seemed to eclipse the noun—are to be congratulated on surviving until the new ship of State could be officially launched. But it has been a time of great difficulty, and—except perhaps for Senor Azana, who has made a hit in the War Ministry—they have little constructive achievement to show for their interregnum. The Cabinet has failed to arrive at anything like agreement over the hasty and ten- tative draft of the new Constitution, which by treating the State as unitary and not federal will start immediate controversy. On the other hand, the Catalonian problem seems to have taken the road for settlement, though it may not keep to it for long. Strikes, cleverly timed and distributed by the Sindicato Unico, show how national unrest is still simmering.