Source F journalist Goronwy Rees on reasons for intervention August 1936

In ordinary times the civil war might have raged in isolation behind the Pyrenees, as in some African province of Europe, but in the troubled circumstances of today it threatens to divide Europe . . . and cause a war of intervention . . .

It is not difficult to find motives for intervention . . . A rebel victory resulting in a Fascist pro-Italian Spain would threaten Gibraltar and the route to India: and General Franco is reported to be willing, in return for Italian help, to cede Ceuta and the Balearic Isles to Signor Mussolini and make the Mediterranean an Italian lake. Further, a Fascist Spain would be yet another enemy on the French frontier, and, with Italy, a means of cutting her communications with French Morocco. These military and naval advantages would mean an immense accession of strength to the Fascist countries. But the civil war also invites intervention on grounds of political and intellectual sympathy. The revolt has so far intensified the political struggle in Spain that the defeat of the rebels would, in all probability, be followed . . . by an administration of the extreme Left . . . General Franco has presented Europe with the choice between a Fascist or a Communist Spain.

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