24 SEPTEMBER 1948, Page 2

Spain and. Western Europe •

The passage in the speech of Dr. Bramuglia, the Acting President of the United Nations Assembly, on Tuesday, urging obliquely the admission of Spain to the United Nations, was abundantly justified. It will have no effect, for any of the permanent members of the Security Council can veto the election of a candidate for member- ship of the organisation, and there is no doubt whatever what Russia's action would be in this case. But one course is possible and most desirable, the repeal of the resolution binding members of U.N.O. to withdraw their Ambassadors from Madrid. This pontifical censure on Spain for maintaining a totalitarian form of government not substantially different from those prevailing in Portugal (where it enjoys a large measure of public acquiescence) and all the countries of Eastern Europe has no kind of justification. So far as the British Government is concerned, to maintain full diplomatic relations with Poland and Rumania and Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia, to say nothing of Russia, and withhold them sancti- moniously in the case of Spain, is to manifest a partisan discrimination which can only be explained by the Government's deference to a section of its own supporters. There are larger considerations to reflect on. European co-operation, particularly Western European co-operation, was never more necessary, on defence grounds as wel1 as economic grounds, than it is today. For that reason alone this provocative boycott of Spain is the grossest folly. It is folly, more- over, which is demonstrably failing of its alleged purpose. The Franco regime is stronger, not weaker, than when the United Nations Assembly passed its unwise resolution. That is natural enough. Spaniards may dislike Franco, but they dislike much more the idea of outsiders interfering with their internal affairs. If the Foreign Ministers of Western Europe would realise that and act on it the West would be in a better position to cope with whatever fresh difficulties Eastern Europe may be preparing for it.