20 NOVEMBER 1936, Page 1

The Climax at Madrid General Franco and his Moors have

for the kit three days been methodically pouring death and destruction in the name of Spain on the population of the Spanish capital. The terror has been undiscrimin- ating, as any such terror must be. Correspondents in the city have painted pictures, at once revolting and heart-rending, of the mutilation and slaughter of children and women, as the insurgents' aeroplanes launched bombs and aerial torpedoes on the capital of their country, What will be left of the capital in a few hours' time seems doubtful, _for as these words are being written the fires raging in Madrid are defying the efforts of the firemen and the thousands of volunteers engaged in the effort to extinguish them. All civil war must be hideous, for men of the same nation do not war on one another till feelings have been raised to an abnormal pitch. But General Franco is digging daily deeper in Spain a rift which decades will not bridge. He was no doubt chagrined at his failure to carry the city by assault, but the success of the defenders in repelling his attacks can in the eyes of no civilised man palliate the savagery with which vengeance is being wreaked on the civilians of Madrid. He may be successful in destroying the city, but that less than ever today will end the conflict. Ferocity begets ferocity in Spain, and the guerilla war- fare which will follow the fall of the capital promises to be more implacable than ever.

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