21 AUGUST 1936, Page 21


SIR,--In your August 14th issue Lieut.-Colonel P. R. Whalley remarks that " the large majority of the population [of Spain] are still Catholics," and that therefore they are hardly likely to fight for the Government.

I would suggest that this argument clearly is fallacious. In the first place, we must distinguish amongst differing types of Catholics. Some are Ultramontane zealots, others are of moderate views, and others even are indifferent, though they may not cease to be Catholics. These differing types exist in all countries ; and, I may add, in all religious denominations.

Second, there is a very good reason why even zealous Catho- lics in Spain should support the Government. Whether good, bad, or indifferent, it was the legally elected and constituted authority, and the proper course for an opposition to adopt in an effort to displace it was by peaceful agitation : which, as the swings of the pendulum in the previous two elections show, would be quite an effective method. Yet, instead of doing that, the rebels resort to armed force aided by alien levies. A patriotic Catholic, then, would rally to support even a very defective Government against 'anarchical treason.

With regard to atrocities, it is quite obvious that they have been perpetrated by both sides. The burnings of Churches are, of course, explainable by the Oppressive ecclesiastical regime, with its Inquisition traditions ; but, though it explains, that fact does not justify the burnings. The greatest of all atrocities, however, is the wanton waging of a civil war, with all the consequences in blood, chaos, and hatred. Surely it is Strange to find professed supporters of law and order in this country praising what strikes at the very basis of social order.—

Yours faithfully, Highbury, N. 5. J. W. POYNTER.