12 DECEMBER 1931, Page 3

The Spanish Constitution The Cortes, elected last July to draw

up a constitution for the Spanish Republic, ratified its work on Wednesday. The election of Sefior Alcala Zamora as the first President on Thursday was regarded as a certainty, The Presi- dent will hold office for six years, and his successor will be chosen jointly by the Cortes and a special " assembly of representatives "—a compromise between the French and the American methods of electing the head of the State. It is abundantly clear that the new President will not have a bed of roses. He has announced his intention of trying to revive the anti-clerical sections of the Constitution. But his main task for the moment will be to find a Cabinet capable of governing with a Cortes in which the advanced parties alone arc repre- sented, while none has a majority. Spain, like other countries, is suffering from bad trade and unemployment and the Budget is expected to show a heavy deficit just at a time when fresh expenditure on agrarian and other reforms is proposed. The Republic may soon have to reconsider its boycott of all the experienced politicians in Spain.

* * * *