central intelligence agency
THE POLITICAL FUTURE OF SPAIN
CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM
Copy No. ,
approved for releaseHISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAMCentral iDtelllcjeace Agency
5 DecemberJ/Jtr/ gjr
THE POLITICAL FUTURE OF SPAIN
Under its present Government, Spain provides no current threat to US security because, however antithetic Franco's political philosophy may be toward Democracy, he must presently favor thc Western Powers as the only alternative to the Eastern, toward which he has demonstrated his antagonism. The Franco Government,Is relatively secure for the time being; it controls all power in the state. Itssolelyesult of political activity generated within Spain, seems unlikely.ong-term point of view, however. Franco cannot be relied upon to remain indefinitely friendly toward any democratic country, nor can it be assumed that his regime will persist.
In view of thc factpain dominated by an unfriendly power would adversely affect US security, consideration must be given lo the types of government wlilchmerge should Franco b? replaced. There appear to be four types of alternate regime:estored monarchy under Doneconstituted Popularommunist
A Bourbon restoration with Don Juan as king shows small likelihood of peaceful durability, as the monarchy wouldider basis of popular support thanexists. The Popular Front, discredited in the public eye by the disorders6 and Uie propaganda of the present regime, has attempted to purge itself ofelements, but cannot escape the factionalism whichharacteristicof Uie Spanish Left It Is doubtful if representatives of the political entitles which formed the Popular Front could by Uiemselvestable government for Spain, because of their anticipated inability to control theossible development resultingeriod of chaos, would be the emergenceictatorship of the proletariat The Spanish Communist Parly, althoughmall clement in the suppressed opposition, might succeed In obtaining control In Spain cither through Invasion by the USSR or possibly as the outgrowthore general leftist uprising in which foreign support was made most rapidly available to the Communist faction In both contingencies the strength of Communism in Western Europe generally,In France, wouldecisive factor in relation lo the USSR's capacity to dominate Spain.
The development offering Uie greatest promise of long-range stability In Spain combined with friendliness toward the US is the effort of moderate political leaders from both Right and Left oppositions to suppress old antagonisms and cooperateentrist movement Simultaneously they have more definitely than ever isolated the Spanish Communists and fellow travelers. The trend among non-Communistpoliticians isreaking down of Uiexation which hitherto has rigidly separated them because they were ranged on opposite sides during the Civil War. usion of these non-Communist oppositions offers almost the only prospect
ThU paper tias been coordinated with the intelligence organisation* of Ine DepartmentsArmy. Navy, and Atr
for lhe creationidely based, widely supported government which could replace the Franco regime In the event that the Army were induced to withdraw its allegiance from el CaudiUo.
The peaceful assumption of power byovernment cannot beincere meeting of minds between moderates of the Right and Left is achieved and until some change In the present situation occurs which would lead the Army toransfer of authority from Francooderate government. Once lnentrist government could not fulfill the promise of long-term stability unless It received economic aid and political encouragement from abroad. In the meantime, unless the opposition unites, and unless the Army is persuaded of the advantage of switching Its allegiance lo the opposition, the Franco regime will continue to rule by default
THE POLITICAL FUTURE OF SPAIN
The diplomatic control or the physical occupation of Spainowerful nation hostile to the US would adversely affect US security interests in Western Europe, the Mediterranean, North Africa, the Atlantic islands, and probably also in Latin America.
In the eventar between the US and the USSR, the Iberian Peninsula, because of the Pyrenees, might serve us the siterief delaying actionovietfrom France. The Peninsula's chief value to either belligerent, however, would beite for air and naval bases from which to control the western Mediterranean and its Atlantic approaches. Although Spain's difficult terrain and inferior road and rail nets render the area unsuitable for usease from which toround counterattack on other countries of Western Europe, its geographical position makes it of strategic significance to the US. The US, therefore,riendly, stable, and independent Spain.
While the Spanish people are generally friendly toward the US. the national Iricndship depends on short-range questions of domestic and International need or advantage and of Spanish sensitiveness to Interference with the national sovereignty. These conditions will always be used by the present government, through Its ability to control public information and stimulate mass demonstrations, so as to shape the attitude of the people toward the US. So far as stability Is concerned, the present Spanish Government is not in any immediate danger. Although It Is increasingly threatened by poor economic conditions, it is supported by the Police, the Army, and the Church. The Governmeni lacks long-range stability, however, in that it is based on personal rule In the event of the death or incapacity of the ruler, despite the recent Law of Succession, there is no assurance that his successor would be adroit enough to control the situation. As for Spain's independence. Franco has proved that he Is the ruler and that Spanish policy has been directed from within the country.
Various factors are at work, nevertheless, lo undermine the present regime. This situation and Spain's strategic interest lo the US suggest the advisability of analyzing the main alternative types of government which may hold power in Spain. These will be considered under five headings: (a) the Franco regime;estored monarchy under Don Juan;econstituted Popular Front;ommunist government; andentrist coalition.
1. The Franco Regime.
Although General Franco has remained ln power for the eight years since the end of the Civil War, his regime has been unable to capture the genuine mass support of the people. Such support as it receives from the people arises from their fear of civil war and of Communism. The regime has utilized corrupt means to consolidate Its power and is now unable to overcome the corruption in the Government. It has not granted effective general amnesty to the defeated elements in the Civil War. and po-lillcal arrests have Increased during the past year. Many of the deep-seated causes of social and political unrest remain uncorrected. The regime, which took power by force, has suppressed all civil and political liberties.
economic picture wltliin Spain is similarly gloomy. Thc foreign exchange situation Is critical and the internal economyecent loan agreement with Argentina has been helpful, but financing for large-scale importations ofand raw materials Is badly needed. Because of its exclusion from specialized agencies associated with the UN. It is presently Impossible for Spain to obtain funds through the International Bank or the World Stabilization Fund. The unfavorable Import situation has not yet seriously injured the majority of small businesses in Spain, but if it continues, it must sooner or later have an adverse effect on many of the middle-class conservatives who have up to now regarded Franco as the best guarantee of thelr securlty.
Private enterprise under Franco is restricted by state controls and bureaucracy. The State's highly publicized social program does not offset thc serious discrepancy between wages and the cost of living. Food rationed at government-controlled prices does not provide an adequate diet, and officials admit that undernourishment has slowed down labor's output The politically conscious industrial workers of the Bilbao and Barcelona production centers are dissatisfied, and in some cases have received covert support from management in protest actions.
At thc present time, the Franco regime shows some signs of trying to win theof labor by radical economic concessions, these efforts being apparentlyby the success of President Peron in Argentina. Franco has failed lo achieve,egree of national prosperity sufficient to overcome the opposition ofto radical social and economic reform. Regardless of the degree ofprosperity Franco could achieve, he would never win over the leaders of thc formerly free trade unions, who are committed to his outright overthrow
Government expenditures customarily exceed revenue, the deficitillion pesetas.x of thc budget is consumed by the armed forces and security police. Any effort, therefore, by General Franco to check nationalby balancing the budget would involve the reduction of the militaryupon the maintenance of which his own tenure so much depends.
Largely upon thc basis of this Army support, plus the generally fell fear ofchange and renewed civil war. Franco remains in power. War-weariness,and fear have contributed to the general apathy which marks the entire Spanish political scene, nor has there yet arisen withincould there arise Inyounger figure, any vitalizing political Idea, of sufficient force lo capture the imagination of the masses, even though Franco's opponents may numerically outweigh his supporters Thus,ense. Franco rules by default, and his downfall solely as the result of any political action generated within Spain Is unlikely.
In terms of Spanish history, moreover, the Franco Government has alreadyunusual durability Those who believed that Franco's close links toand Italy would lead to his collapse were mistaken. Politically adroit, Franco never allowed his close ties with the Axis to pull Spain Into the war. By showing an increasingly conciliatory attitude toward the US and the UK as an allied victory became more probable. Franco nullified Anglo-American pressures to force his removal Nevertheless, the US,oint declaration with the French and British Governmentsubliclypeaceful withdrawal of Franco" and pledged
uccessor regime guaranteeing democratic liberties "full diplomatic relations tn| the taking of such practical measures to assist in the solution of Spain's economic problems as may be practicable in the circumstancesn the un General Assembly,he US Delegation supported the resolution condemning the Franco Government of Spain and recommending that it be debarred fromin international agencies associated with the un. and that the member nations withdraw their Ambassadors and Ministers from Madrid. This resolution was not specifically reaffirmed, but was left In force, following renewed discussion of the Spanish question In the UN General Assembly session
Spanish National Syndicalism, the political mould which Franco and his advisors have shaped for their country, is proclaimed as "unalterably opposed to liberalas well as to "Marxisto that Franco's present conciliatory attitude toward the Western democracies seemseflection of Spain's need to come to terms with the "lesser of two evils"anifestation of sincere or lasting friendship. Franco's deference to the us Is contingent upon the maintenance of US military, economic, and political leadership, and thus carries no guarantee of continuityuture of changed circumstances. Already the Spanish Government Is seeking to lessen its dependence on the dollar by barter agreements and by cultivating diplomatic and commercial relations with the Arab states, apparently with the objective ofpetroleum from Arab sources, as well as of Improving its relations with native
While the stability of the Franco regime Is demonstrable, another aspect of the situation requires emphasis: the Franco regime is presidingontinuingdeterioration.ore drastic change in policies and greater gains ln economic strength than seem possible so long as present national leadership results in Spain's exclusion from the European Recovery Program, the indefinite prolongation of the regime means an intensification of the factors that favor revolution Five or ten years hence Spain may be more explosive than now. If the USSR is at that time able to take advantage of Spanish unrest, the possibilities ofommunist regime in Spain will then have increased.
The reasons the Franco regime, despite its current stability, presents disadvantages to US Interests may be summarizedhe political and economic theories upon which the regime is based, and the attitudes of its leaders, conflict with us political Ideology. This points to the prospect that Spain, because of its different outlook, might In certain circumstances use Ils influence against the us or might insistmiddle" or neutral positionore positive alignment with the US was desired by thets repressive measures and unpopularity with the Spanish masses serve to drive these masses toward extremist programs, with the possibility that they will be increasingly attracted toward Communism and the USSR, which has taken pains lo dramatize its opposition to the Francohe regime's dependence upon force to retain power delays preparation of the Spanish people for democraticls unpopularity with large numbers of people throughout the world embarrasses the US in all its dealings with Spain, postponing the time when the US can restore normal relationsountry potentially valuable
2. Rii*njration or nix Monarchy.
A restoration of the monarchy with Don Juan as king has frequentlyogical and convenient alternative to FTnnco. The Pretender has denounced Franco and is pledged loonstitutionalestoration offers, inreater political permanence than would another dictator or military Junta. This change is, however, unlikely for various reasons and, if accomplished without prior agreement with substantial anti-Franco elements of the Left, would be faced wiih major obstacles to long-range stability.
Thc Franco regime, by meansaw of Succession approvedas diminished thceturning monarchy haveto offer. The law characterizes Spainingdom and providesouncil of the Realm to take over in case of Franco's death or Incapacity. In effect, however, this law makes Franco king in all but name, with the privilege of choosing his successor who may be but does not have torince of the royal blood. Don Juan has rejected an offer of the throne under such terms. Consequently, the monarchist ranks have been divided between those who are satisfied with the forms and institutionsonarchy as such, regardless of the traditional dynasty, and those who conceive their loyalty as due to the Bourbon dynasty. The former can accept the law of Successiontep toward the reinstatementingdom, whereas the pro-Bourbons view it as an unjustifiable interference in thc traditions governing the successionerogation from the rights of the Sovereign. Following Don Junn's repudiation of thc Succession Law, Franco's propagandists began to harp upon thc historic defects of thc Bourbons and thcof the Pretender.
Franco, in Bourbon eyes,surper; yet It Is doubtful that the Spanish people share the resentment felt by the Bourbons and their followers for dynastic reasons. Such popular enthusiasm for the idea of monarchy as docs exist Is probably attributable to the fact that the one relatively prosperous period which living Spaniards canthcs. was enjoyed under that form of government
Should Don Juan come to the throne solely with the support of the Spanish Right, he would Incur the enmity of Liberals and leftists. Although Don Juan has shown some sign of liberal Inclinations, he lacks thc vigorous personality which would be necessary If he were to break away from the traditional framework of Bourbon rule. Tradition would oblige him to lean heavily for support on conservative elements, es-pecially thc Church, the Army, and the landed aristocracy, upon which Franco himself depends While Don Juan retained the backing of the Army, his government would have at least the same stability which has characterized the Franco regime. Although propaganda directed from Moscow would attack Uie monarchy with as much violence as it now directs at Franco and exploit popular suspicion that the change had been engineered by foreign, especially British, diplomacy, on balance Uie new regime would benefit by its freedom from thc taint attached to Franco's name. This would Improve Spain's chances to receive extensive foreign economic aid. Nevertheless, most of the long-range domestic factors working against thc present regime would operate tothis monarchy. It would have no better prospect than Franco of lieallng the breach of Uie Civil War and winning over republican elements. Moreover, Uie king
and his ministers might show less skill than the CavdiUo in controlling the fore* upon which their power rested.
In these circumstances, lhe monarchy as an institution offers small promise of lasting success.
3. HrruRN or the Popular Fkokt.
The Popular Front serves to symbolize the Spanish left. It was the victory of this league of political parties and trade unions In the general elections of6 which broughtlimax the tension between the political Left and Right. Franco's retaliatory legislation not only has made all the political components of the Popular Front Illegal but has severely penalized anyone who was connected with the electoral victoryhe Popular Front, being identified ln the popular mind not only with the rise of anti-clericals and labor leaders to power, but also with the conditions of disorders now likely to have little appeal lo the average Spaniard.
In conformity with the Constitution of the Republic three cabinets have been formed in exile The first,oalition of most leftist parties, was lead by non-Maricjjit Republicans. The second,oalition, put less stress on pure Republicanism because it was dominated by Socialists who were interested inthe Government's basis beyond the scope of the Popular Front to include Rightists who had not been loyal to the Republic. The third, formed by Republicans after the Socialist Parly had withdrawn, has tacitly accepted the duty of symbolizing Republican legality without demanding the direct restoration of the Republic. Aiming to escape the stigma of the discredited Popular Front, It has no Communist representation. This latest shadow government is the least widely representative of the three.
None of the govcmments-ln-exile has ever aroused enthusiasm within Spain, nor has any been accorded authority to lead the Left by the active opposition leaders inside the country. Even the leftist movements represented in these shadow governments have not succeeded in coordinating the views of their underground and exiledOnly the Spanish Communist Party exercises firm control from abroad of its inleriiaJ active, membership.
Because of the absence of free elections during the past decade, the comparative strengths of the various leftist groupings cannot be known either to foreign observers or even lo lhe leftist political leaders themselves in the confusion of Party labels and Party schisms, it can only be rtaled that the Spanish Left in essence consists of five main movements: republicanism, socialism, anarcho-syndicalism, communism, and the Basque, Catalan, and Galician movements for regional autonomyederation. All of theseow vitality, but they suffer collectively from the effects ofand suppression. Their past relations, their indiscipline, Uie bickerings among their leaders, the enmlly toward them of the Spanish Rightists, and their lack of physical resources at the present time within Spain, make any assumption of powerovernment based only upon support from these leftists entities most unlikely. The effort ofovernment lo replace Franco would produce violence andbecause Ihis government would lack the means, without foreign intervention, to ensure peaceful conditions long enough for any outside economic aid to become effective.
4. Communist Movement.
In the eventeftist uprising aimed at the forcible overthrow of the Franco regime should begin, the present Government could suppress the insurrection withlittle difficulty unless foreign powers sent rapid, large-scale aid to theIf. however, this insurrection should survive, it is probable that Itssooner or later would be assumed by extremists who would push aside anyleftist leaders who might have been associated with the uprising. In view of the magnetic power of the USSR and the energy and discipline of the small SpanishParty, It Is highly possible that Communists wouldominatingIn these circumstances, ir the revolt provedictatorship of the proletariat, responsive to Soviet guidance, would supplant the present regime. Franco's supporters Insist that it was to prevent the establishment ofictatorship that they rebelled against the Republichen the non-Marxist Government showed itself either unable or unwilling to stem Uie tide of Marxist domination
The efforts of Uie Spanish Communist Party to infiltrate Into other leftistthe acts of anti-Franco terrorism boasted by the Communist press-ln-cxile. the Internationa) Communist-Inspired rallies designed to provoke foreign intervention in Spanish affairs, and the arrests by Franco's police of Communist workers within Spain all show thc zeal with which thc Communists have worked to embarrass Franco and touiding influence in Spain's politics after he is gone. Thc record so farno evidence, however, that the Spanish Communist Party will succeed in gaining control of Spain. The hostility to Communism on the part of Uie great majority of Spaniards, both of the Left and the Right,trong barrier to Communist progress. This opposition Is so extensive, indeed, that it seems improbableommunist-controlled government could Install itself and obtain an adequate basis of popular support wiUioul powerful backing fromommunist regime In Spain would adversely affect US security, Uierefore, because it would either be thc product of, or would lead to, an extension of Soviet influence to the Iberian Peninsula.
Should the Communist movements in France and Italy so decline In strength as to lose their prospects for attaining power, the Communist threat to Spain, such as it is, would correspondingly decline. In such circumstances the possibility of Spain'sunder Uie control of Uie USSR by political means would be reduced to zero.urther result the Franco regime might be either strengthened or weakened. The elimination of Communist pressure would enable Franco, it he chose, to relax some of his repressions and permit the evolutionore democratic government Franco's record Indicates, however, that he opposes popular participation in government and that he would not acknowledgeeakening in French and Italian Communism meant thc elimination of thc Communist menace In Spain. It Is mosl unlikely,that he would substantially alter his present domestic policiesesult of events in France and Italy. The subsiding of the general Communist menace would deprive Franco of much of the force behind his contention that he is needed to serve as aagainst this threat; and would encourage many opponents of Franco, who at present prefer the status quo to any action that might open the doorommunist coup, to Increase their opposition activities on the theory that it was now safe to change the regime. It thus seems probable that Franco, unless his regime
had already received aid from the Western Powers sufficient to halt the generaldeterioration of Spain, wouldeduction in the French andisadvantage to him.
5. entrist Coautiok.
During the last few years, many Monarchists and Leftists have suppressed their traditional aversion and have overcome obstacles put in their way by Franco to the extent of exploring the possibilities of cooperation. The very fact that they established and maintained contactonsiderable stepenter alignment Their apparent realization that excessive factionalism has contributed to Spain's political undoing should assist these efforts toward union. International diplomacy hasmade it abundantly evident that only the USSR and Its satellite states favor direct action to force Franco out and that any internal opposition movement must show mot strength than has so far appeared In such movements before nations will concede its importance.
The obstaclesuccessful rapprochement between elements which took opposite sides during the Civil War arc numerous. An outstanding practical difficulty is the suppressive power of Franco's police state, which makes it necessary that allbe conducted abroad or clandestinely. The lack of safe, speedy means ofdelays such negotiations, leads to misunderstandings, and allows distrust to spring up betwen normally like-minded groups in the Interior and abroad. Another important handicap is the problem of assessing the representative quality of awho affirms that he has the backingarticular clandestine group. InSpain, where freedom of association and information does not exist, it is impossible to ascertain the strength of any leader or. at limes, even to verify his claim to leadership. The Monarchist camp is almost as confused in this respeel as the leftist complex, various military leaders and rightist politicians in Spain having claimed authority at different times lo represent Don Juan's interests.
Slow and faltering though the efforts toward centrist rapprochement have been, they haveew stimulus as the result of conversations in London during7rominent Monarchist,'Oil Roblcs, and the leaderloc of moderate Socialists, Indalccio Prieto. For the first time since the outbreak of the Civil War. two of Spain's outstanding political opponents, one of whom al the time of the last general election was lhe acknowledged leader of the Right, while the other was among the chief figures of the Popular Front, have conferred on the subject of Franco's elimination andubstantial measure of accord. The Intense reaction in Madrid to these conversations showed the perturbation of the Spanish Government Both Gil Roblcs and Prieto have been bitterly attacked in the controlled press. Certain Rightists have been deeply shockedrominent Rightist shouldan of the Popular Front The British Government's association with the conversations has raised the cry of foreign intervention.
While prevailing apathy in Spanish conservative circles has been Jolted, and the possibility Is enhancedoalition will be formed which could be acceptable to the Army, the church, and the laboring classes as well as lo the Western Powers, it would be premature to conclude that sufficient progress has been made lo carry this solution to the point where II would oblige Franco's peaceful withdrawal. "Qtia^aEreement exists as
to Lhe nature ol the provisional government that would succeed Franco and as to tlie timinglebiscite to ascertain the will of the peopleermanent
Thc conditions which wouldentrist coalition to take power and provide stability are: Thc voluntary transfer of Army loyaltyew leadership, substantial Vatican support, the sympatheUc cooperation of thc Western Powers, as well as thc lasting submergence of old hatreds by the majority ol responsible Spaniards. Acentrist coalition government probably would fulfill the requirements of the Tripartite Declarationhich contains the pledge of the US, thc UK, and France to accord diplomatic and economic supportemocratic government which has succeeded Franco.hange also presumably would remove the chief reason lor the British and French recommendation to exclude Spain "provisionally" from thc European Recovery Program.
If assured ol foreign economicrovisional centrist coalition government would have the prospect of leading Spain toward long-term stability through the establishmentermanent governmentimilar nature.egime wouldetter case In appealing for external aid thanommunist government or an ineffectual Popular Front. IJy its compromise nature it would be more likely than other alternatives toeneral amnesty effective and to create theIn which reprisals could be held In check. At the same time,overnment would be more likelyurely rightist regime lo strive to reduce working-class dissatisfaction by spreading the distribution of thc benefits of foreign economic aid. This would help to overcome some of thc inequities characteristic of the present regime, resulting from the corruption apparent throughout Its agencies and Its politicalwith privileged interests which it has not dared to call upon for any serious sacrifices.
6. PROSI'KCTS AlIltAD.
For the next six months thc present Government ol Spain will continue to rule with little or no change in its stability or in Its control of the country. Tills presumption Is based on the viewo change of government could be brought about successfully without thc support of the Army,he Army will not relinquish Its support ol thc Franco regime unless convinced that only the character of that regime and thc person of Its Chief of Stale prevent Spain fromubstantial amount of foreign economic aid and military equipment. Such assistance is at present unavailable to Spain. If II continues to be unavailable, and Spain's economy and its International relations do not improve. Franco will be faced with continuouslypressure built up within the country by economic deterioration and will probably be compelled to Increase his repressive measures and extend state control of private enterprise. If, however, the granting of foreign economic and military aid should no longer be made contingent upon Franco's departure, and Franco should succeed In procuring economic and financial assistance adequate to halt thisand to ameliorate conditions for the working people, the pressure will lessen, and thc stability of the present regime will be improved.
This Improvement would be inadequate, nevertheless, to ensure stabilityong period of years. The kind of political stability which exists when the majority of
citizens arc satisfied with the basic characteristics of their government will not be possible In Spain until the antagonisms that made the Civil war so bitter have been assuaged. There is nothing to justify the hope that Franco's government is capable of significantly reducing those hatreds. Its indefinite prolongation, therefore, even if economic deterioration is contained, may lead to eventual violence and revolution. Avoidance of civil conflict can be predictedong-range basis only if the bulk of moderate men from both the Right and the Left sincerely seek cooperation, devote their energies to national reconstruction rather than to maneuvering against each other, and peacefully replace the present regime by one that is based on the consent of the governed.Original document.