25 APRIL 1941, Page 13


Sm,—Mr. Scott stated in his letter in The 'Spectator last week that my article on "Spain and Monarchism" contains one rather sur- prising error . . . "that General Franco has refused the request of the Royalists for the burial of the late King Alfonso in the Monastery of the Escorial," and adds that "It is, however, over two weeks now since The Times printed a very complete account of the burial of the King at the Escorial." It is not the case, however, that The Times printed a "very complete account of the burial." What The Times, in fact, published was a report from its special correspondent on the German frontier, in which he stated that "the body of King Alfonso XIII was borne across the Franco-Spanish frontier on Monday to be interred at the Escorial." This report was received by the corre- spondent, not from Spain, nor from Lisbon, but from "ecclesiastical circles in Berlin."

I had already seen The Times notice, but I also knew that the Monarchists were continuing to request Franco to authorise the burial. On the other hand, neither The Times correspondents in Madrid, Lisbon or any other country published anything on the burial in the Escorial, nor on the arrival in Spain of the remains of the King. Is it to be believed that the burial took place in the Escorial without the Spanish newspapers or radio publishing a single line on this important matter? I cannot help feeling that the cor- respondent was mistaken, and that he had picked up a rumour which was being spread in German ecclesiastical circles.

Needless to say, I have not been able to confirm the exactitude of The Times report. I stated in my article that Franco, in spite

of being a Monarchist, opposed the removal of the King's remains for fear of a national demonstration against the Phalanx, disguised as support for the Monarchy. If, in fact, the Spanish people have been told nothing, and the burial has been carried out in secret as though it were a crime, this would be just as strong a confirmation of my statement as the failure to remove the King's remains.—Yours, THE WRITER OF THE ARTICLE.