2 MARCH 1929, Page 2

* * * * The decrees authorizing members of the

Patriotic Union and loyal Spanish citizens to indulge in espionage and tale-bearing are, on the face of them, absurd. Poli- tical chatter in the cafés is second nature to the Spaniard —there is a credible story that the Dictator himself, when asked by the King where he .acquired his political talent,- replied," In the Casino at Jerez "7-and in any case the .Spariiard's high sense of honour would never allow him to tell tales. Now: to cap everything, the Times of Wednesday reports a statement by Geneial Primo de Rivera, that there is " a distinct change in the attitude of the foreign Press towards the Spanish Govern- ment." The objectionable articles, it appears, have " a strong smell of petrol " about them—a reference to the foreign oil interests affected by the' Spanish Govern- ment Monopoly—and Spaniards are earnestly entreated to rally round the national flag. The growing dissatis., faction in Spain with-the Government's 'economic policy shows that it is not always safe to- pour this 'sort-Of oil on troubled waters.