20 SEPTEMBER 1940, Page 2

Germany and Spain

The visit of Senor Sutler, the Spanish Minister of the Interior and General Franco's brother-in-law, to Berlin is an event that may have political consequences of some importance. The statement he made on his arrival, that Spain had taken her decision and would act when the appropriate moment came, is pointedly reminiscent of some of the declarations made by Signor Mussolini at different dates before Italy's entry into war. It is highly doubtful, none the less, whether Spain has in fact decided anything. Senor Sutler, as head of the Falangists, would no doubt like her to, but General Franco, who is the head not of a Party but of the Spanish State, has been markedly more circumspect in his utterances. He and all Spaniards have naturally a strong desire to secure Gibraltar and an extension of territory in Morocco if that could be achieved without serious fighting—which means if a German victory in the war were certain and Germany were willing to promise Spain other people's property as price of her co-operation, active or passive, now. But it must be plain in Madrid, as everywhere else, that a German victory is not more, but much less, certain than it was three months ago, and no decision is likely to be taken till the position becomes considerably clearer. French Morocco is hesitating visibly between de Gaulle and Vichy, and open claims by either Italy or Spain might well incline her towards the former. Senor Sutler, therefore, seems hardly likely to conclude. a definite agreement there.