30 JULY 1921, Page 2

The Spaniards have suffered another reverse in Morocco. Troops which

were operating in the Rif country behind Melilla, preparing for the usual spring campaign against the Moors, were overwhelmed by a sudden concentration of their enemies, their Commander, General Silvestre, was killed, and their survivors were forced to fall back on a defensive position in front of Melilla. Besides this, the campaign which was in progress in another part of the Spanish zone and was to have led to the final capture and ruin of the great brigand Raisuli, who has so long baffled pursuit, has had to be immediately abandoned, and the 15,000 troops who were conducting it are withdrawn. Of the actual position of these 15,000 troops there is, however, no certain news. Thursday's papers, indeed, speak of them as having disappeared. We most sincerely hope that they are now safe, but it is to be feared that the mystery means heavy losses during retirement. So once again the• Moors have shown that Spain has not succeeded in occupying the whole of her zone in Morocco. There must be something very wrong about a colony in which there is a perpetual war with the inhabitants, who are not, 'after all, the primitive savages which they are sometimes represented as being.