22 MARCH 1940, Page 2

Trade With Spain

The conclusion of a trade agreement between this country and Spain is welcome both for its direct commercial conse- quences and as evidence of the complete restoration of normal relations between the two countries. The fears ex- pressed during the Civil War that if the Nationalists were victorious Spain would be imprisoned in the German-Italian orbit never carried conviction with those who knew enough of the spirit of Spain to realise how unlikely it was that she would submit to any external domination, and it is clear now that they had no substance at all. German propa- gandists are intensely active in Spain, but Germany's alliance with Russia was universally denounced, and the victory over Finland has made hatred of the Soviet Government, and consequently of its Berlin friends, stronger than ever. No trade between Spain and Germany is possible today, owing to the British blockade—the legend that copper from the British-owned Rio Tinto mines was going into German hands has been denied in the House of Commons—and an Italo-Spanish trade agreement which has been long under negotiation is still not concluded. The openings for Anglo- Spanish trade are therefore good. This country is the obvious source of supply for many of the materials Spain will need in her immense work of reconstruction.