21 AUGUST 1936, Page 1


WHILE the military situation in Spain has remained static since the fall of Badajoz a week ago, time is working—in the absence of external intervention--on the whole in favour of the Government, for the attack of the insurgents tends to lose its first élan and Madrid and Barcelona are getting their heterogeneous forces on to some sort of organised basis. The presence or absence of external intervention may well turn the scale, and agreement between the Powers on that point is still lack- ing, owing to what can only be interpreted as deliberate and calculated procrastination on Italy's part. Germany's reply, received on Tuesday, accepted the principle of neutrality, provided a German aeroplane seized by the Madrid Government was released and the embargo on supplies to the combatants made comprehensive, and accepted by all industrial countries.. (This is reasonable only if it means, all European countries ; to bring in the United States and Japan would mean serious delay.) Since then a, German ship has been stopped on the high seas by a Spanish cruiser, but trouble will arise over that only if there is a deliberate desire to make trouble. Our own Government, by pro- hibiting all export of arms and munitions and aircraft of all kinds, has committed itself to neutrality without waiting for the delayed international agreement, and it can only be hoped that good example will have the effect that good example always should have. How far actual help is continuing to reach the rebels from Germany and Italy there is no means of knowing.

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