Britain Divided: The Effect of the Spanish Civil War on British Political Opinion

By K. W. Watkins | Go to book overview

Appendix F

Letter from the British Prime Minister to General Franco

15 January 1945

Your Excellency,
Your Ambassador has communicated to the Foreign Secretary a copy of your letter to the Duke of Alba in which you expressed a desire for a clarification of relations between the British and Spanish peoples, with a view to a closer and more intimate relationship in the future. I have studied this document with much interest and so have my colleagues of the War Cabinet. It is our desire that the relations between the British and Spanish peoples should be close and cordial and I notice, with some surprise, that Your Excellency attributes such difficulties as now exist between Great Britain and Spain to the attitude of His Majesty's Government, and of British public opinion, and to the activities of British propaganda and British agents in Spain. I can assure Your Excellency that your assertions regarding the activities of British agents in Spain are entirely without foundation and I can only suppose that your Government has been misled by the allegations of those persons whose obvious interest lies in disturbing relations between the British and Spanish peoples. I therefore welcome all the more Your Excellency's suggestion that the time is ripe for a clarification of the position and, after full consultation with my colleagues, and in the name of the War Cabinet, I take this opportunity to set out to Your Excellency in complete frankness the serious difficulties which, in our view, still hamper the satisfactory development of relations between our two countries.
I must first remind Your Excellency of the policy which your Government has pursued so far in the present world war, as this policy has appeared to His Majesty's Government and to the British public which they represent. I do not forget that Spanish policy did not oppose us at two critical moments of the war, namely, at the time of the collapse of France in 1940 and at the moment of the Anglo-American invasion of North Africa in 1942. But I also remember that throughout the war German influence in Spain has constantly been permitted to embarrass the war effort of Great Britain and her Allies, and that a Spanish Division was actually sent to give assistance to our German enemies against our Ally, Russia. During that period the Spanish Government openly pursued a policy not of neutrality but of non-belligerency.
His Majesty's Government have had to make many complaints against unneutral activities in Spain, which I need not now

-252-

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Britain Divided: The Effect of the Spanish Civil War on British Political Opinion
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • I - British Interests and the Spanish Civil War 1
  • 2 - Image and Reality 13
  • 3 - Non-Intervention 71
  • 4 - The British Right 83
  • 5 - The British Left 141
  • 6 - Spain and the Second World War 196
  • 7 - 'Conflicts -- Resolved and Unresolved' 202
  • Conclusion 234
  • Postscript 237
  • Appendix A 239
  • Appendix B 245
  • Appendix C 246
  • Appendix D 248
  • Appendix E 249
  • Appendix F 252
  • Bibliography 255
  • Index 262
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