27 NOVEMBER 1959, Page 12

SIR, —I am afraid that economic pressure would not destroy

Franco's regime and that Mr. Gilmour is mistaken in ascribing so many of Spain's troubles to Franco; Spain was poor and priest- and police- ridden before Franco, and probably will be after him. His police State is not like Hitler's, or even Mussolini's; to one who has lived in Spain it seems more like Cromwell's (there are many close parallels and Don Juan's restoration could provide another). No doubt Franco is a subtle intriguer with no con- structive policy, a military mind, temperamentally conservative, unimaginative and unbending; as Mr. Gilmour rightly says of his faith in Catholicism, 'it is impossible to doubt his sincerity today.' How could he, then, write of him a few lines above: 'Utterly without principle, he could become a Marxist to- morrow if his interests deman'ded it "t This, unfortunately in some ways, is just what he could not do.—Yours faithfully,


Via di San Salvatore in Campo, 46, Rome