The supreme farce of our time
THE third factor which contributed so much to the formation of British opinion, in addition to Britain's interests and the events in Spain, was the policy of non-intervention and the operation of the Non-Intervention Agreement.
On 2 August 1936 the French Cabinet proposed to the other Powers that a policy of non-intervention should be adopted towards the events in Spain. Under this agreement, the Powers would undertake not to supply arms, let alone men, to either of the contestants. The origin of the non-intervention policy and the extent to which different Powers individually contravened the Agreement, in violation of their solemn pledges, has been thoroughly documented by modern historians.2
The two aspects of non-intervention which are essential background material for a study of British opinion and the Spanish Civil War are: (1) What were the objective political factors from which such a policy could arise, and (2) the more complex one, why did Britain and France cling to the policy for the duration of the conflict when its bankruptcy was plain for all to see?
To those who lived through the Second World War and who today live under the shadow of the atom bomb, it is difficult to comprehend how both politicians and people who had lived____________________