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interests. What more befitting occasion than that for offering to England, with Europe's approval, the exchange of Ceuta for Gibraltar?

General Primo de Rivera knows that to abandon Ceuta would mean the end of Spanish aspirations in Africa; but the idea of African expansion, under present conditions, is to his mind a deceptive dream, and the acceptance by Spain of the African zone of influence allotted to her in the Conference of Algeciras was a mistake. The recovery of Gibraltar is of far greater importance, above all from the moral point of view.

'The wish to recover it (he exclaims) is unanimous on the part of the nation; and unanimous also the conviction that it is, more than anything, a question of honour. It is more vexing than dangerous for Spain, that the English should possess Gibraltar; it pains more than it harms us to see a foreign flag wave in our own territory.'

This is the first time within the last fifty years that the question of Gibraltar has been treated by a Spaniard in so gentle and diplomatic a way. The late General Don José Lopez Dominguez owed much of his popularity and political influence to his fiery speeches on the same subject in the Spanish Senate. His ideas were explained and somewhat enlarged in a book by Don José Navarrete, an officer of artillery, who published it in 1883 under the title Las Llaves del Estrecho.' In 1889, LieutColonel Don Camilo Vallés published in 'La Revista Cientifico-Militar' of Barcelona, a series of essays on Gibraltar and Algeciras, which aroused much public attention. But both General Lopez Dominguez and Colonel Vallés expected to recover Gibraltar by force of arms, with the aid of batteries on the neighbouring Spanish positions. Señor Navarrete suggested an alliance with some other European nation' in order to defeat England-a plan warmly recommended by the Pan-Germanist propaganda which preceded the war. Who can doubt that Germans were behind the veil, when in 1911, 1912 and 1913, some newspapers in Madrid named Germany as the ideal ally for helping Spain to recover Gibraltar?

Happily, General Primo de Rivera's project is not so unfriendly; and the General's popularity both in the Army

and outside, and his influence in the last cabinet of Señor Dato (in which his uncle, the venerable Don Fernando Primo de Rivera, Marqués de Estella, held the portfolio of War), only a few months after Don Miguel's discharge from the Military Government at Cadiz, are clear evidences that his address was well received by public opinion. We are far from the times when Canovas del Castillo indignantly rejected the idea of exchanging for Gibraltar any other part of the national territory, and war was believed the only solution of the problem. The consensus of opinion now is that Spain ought to proceed by way of friendly negotiation. Even Señor Maura-in spite of a veiled threat-seems to support this idea by his declaration that some negotiation about Gibraltar and Tangier must take place before Spain's attitude in the European conflict can be defined. Señor Alvarez (leader of the Reformistas), Señor Lerroux (of the Radicals), and the Republicans and Socialists in general, ascribe to the narrowmindedness of the Spanish Government, since the 18th century, the lack of an agreement with England on this point. In April 1917, the subject was academically discussed at the Ateneo; and the conclusion prevailed that, since Richard Cumberland's mission to Madrid in 1780 until to-day, the failure of all negotiations with England about Gibraltar is to be laid to the charge of Spain. That the English flag still waves over Gibraltar'-said Señor Roso de Luna last year in his spirited book against German imperialism entitled 'La Humanidad y los Césares'--

'is due to the incapacity of Spanish politicians, who could have found long since some method of saving Spanish sovereignty, and giving to England what she needs. what we might call her right of way.'

Naturally, such utterances are balanced by the illfeeling against England so abundant in the newspapers influenced by Germany. General Primo de Rivera has been accused by them of playing a part, and acting under suggestions made to him during his recent visit to the British front in France-a charge which he disproved by showing that his address was presented to the Academy long before he went to France, though the meeting at which he read it took place subsequently. In the same

address he deprecates the policy of hates and grudges, followed on account of spite and disappointment.' He believes the demonstrations against Great Britain a great mistake, and warns his countrymen against the disastrous consequences of sowing hostility instead of affection.

Human nature is prone to resent such prudent counsels. There can be no doubt that the question of Gibraltar is one of the several causes of Spain's lukewarm feeling towards the Allies, and of the sympathy for Germany which is evident among a large part of her population. But it is far from being the only, or the most important cause.* I firmly believe that to remain neutral until the end of the war would be the decision of an overwhelming majority of the Spanish people, even if no question of Gibraltar existed. The Conde de Romanones, leader of the Liberal party, is well known for his sympathetic attitude towards the Allies. He represents a policy of friendliness with France and England, and on account of this, and the opposition it provoked among his best political friends and in the country at large, he had to resign office last year. Yet, on Nov. 24, 1917, at a banquet given in Madrid by his party, after explaining that he never thought of a participation by Spain in the present conflict, he declared that 'to drag Spain into the war would be a crime'; and that whoever ascribed to him such intention, lied, lied and lied.' The Conde de Romanones' words elicited a thunderous applause.

The political parties in Spain are divided into two large groups, irrespective of their support or dislike of the Monarchy, and according to their clerical or anticlerical, their reactionary or their liberal tendencies. They are called derechas and izquierdas, those of the 'Right' comprising various sections, from the rabid jaimistas, or partisans of the pretender Don Jaime and of absolute monarchy, to the moderate Conservatives led by Señor Dato. With very few exceptions-Señor Dato's group is 'neutral'-they sympathise with Germany. The 'Left' comprises not only Romanones' party, and Garcia Prieto's among the latter there are some uncompromising Germanophiles, and Señor Garcia Prieto declares

* See the article on 'Spain and Germany,' in this Review, July 1917.

himself strictly neutral-but also the Republicans, Republican Radicals, and Socialists. They generally sympathise with the Allies. Señor D. Melquiades Alvarez and his followers, the Reformistas, demand the rupture of diplomatic relations with Germany, on account of the seventy Spanish ships which the Germans have torpedoed; and one, only one, important leader of the Left, Don Alejandro Lerroux, has demanded, since August 1914, a declaration of war on Germany. The Army-which has lately played so important a rôle in Spanish politics and is responsible for the two last Cabinet crises-has expressed the gloomy conviction of Spain's unpreparedness for a war, and her incapacity to put on the field an efficient force even for her own defence. The Army believes that it is necessary to reform the Administration and remove for ever the old cankers of political intrigue and corruption. This work, of course, requires a long time.

Meanwhile, many Spaniards recognise the danger for England of handing over 'the key of the Straits,' and so formidable a position as Gibraltar, to a nation which deserves for her glorious past all the admiration and praise of history, but is at present in the melancholy state of military weakness confessed by her most eminent sons. According to General Primo de Rivera, when Señor Moret was in London some years ago as Spanish ambassador, the Foreign Office told him that his country was not sufficiently strong to hold Gibraltar, but if some day the situation changed, England would not object to speak on the matter. In Spain,' the General concludes, 'the possession of Gibraltar by the English is regarded as a permanent national affront. In England it is considered a necessary injustice.' In any case, we may ask what would have happened to Spain itself, if during this war Gibraltar had belonged to the Spaniards.

On Dec. 12, 1917, the Spanish Government issued an official note, stating that the Council of Ministers had resolved to submit to the King for his signature, within a short time, a decree dissolving the present Cortes, and calling for a general election:

'The Government (the note added) declares once more its unshaken decision to assure the electors that their votes shall

be respected, and for this end measures will be taken to insure fairness in the elections and to relieve the liberty of franchise from all official pressure.'

It promised also that the first bill to be presented to the new Cortes should be one for a general amnesty for political causes.

Here, then, was an opportunity, if ever there was one, for some political party or other to include in its platform the demand for a settlement of the Gibraltar question, in favour of Spain, had there been any strong feeling in the country in regard to that question. That no party availed itself of the opportunity may be regarded as significant. It is a striking fact that the question of Gibraltar does not appear in the programme of any political party in Spain, and has been seldom alluded to in public appeals made by political groups during electoral contests. It is true that, in discussing the present war, some Carlists and reactionaries use Gibraltar as an argument against England, and in favour of Germany. The Germans, they say, are fighting heroicallythis is a favourite expression of El Correo Español '— for the triumph of principles which will restore to Spain her past greatness, together with the key to the Straits,' her ancient colonies in America, and the dominion over Portugal. But, though such absurdities may do harm in country districts among illiterate crowds, no sane and instructed mind pays the slightest attention to them; and the question of Gibraltar, or of its recovery, is not a burning issue. The leaders, whether they are Conservatives or Liberals, Monarchists or Republicans, allow their followers to think independently on that question; and the opinions I have quoted are those of individuals and are shared alike by izquierdas and derechas.

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Prominent men are reluctant to express, even when questioned, a definite opinion, and shrink still more from tracing, in present circumstances, the details of any plan of negotiation with England on the subject. They consider it too delicate' and 'dangerous' at present, and content themselves with saying that negotiation is necessary, speaking either in the vague way of Señor Maura, or in that of Señor Alvarez. While the men of the derecha recognise that the compensations to be offered

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