Spain and the Free World

August 12, 1959

Report Outline
Free World Efforts to Bolster Spain
Spain'S Economic Handicaps and Woes
Aid to Spain for European Defense
Franco and Future Government of Spain

Free World Efforts to Bolster Spain

Austerity measures, introduced or planned in Spain to make that country eligible for economic aid from certain international agencies, may afford an early test of the present strength of the 20-year-old regime of Generalissimo Francisco Franco. Many observers dismissed recent signs of growing popular restiveness under dictatorial rule with the observation that most Spaniards were more concerned about consumer prices and job opportunities than about loss of civil liberties. However, drastic devaluation of the peseta will increase prices for imported products. Employment opportunities, moreover, may be seriously affected by removal of import restrictions, reductions in government spending, and credit restrictions—all called for by Spain's economic stabilization plan. Benjamin Welles reported in a dispatch from Madrid to the New York Times on July 18 that “Powerful resistance, overt and covert, is expected when austerity measures start taking effect.”

Strengthening of Spain's shaky economy has been considered essential since the country became of key importance in the defense of Western Europe, and the resultant international support has put the Franco regime in better position to withstand internal threats. Spain, isolated politically and economically in the first years after World War II, already has gained entry to the United Nations, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Monetary Fund, and the Organization for European Economic Cooperation.

Question Of Admitting Spain To Atlantic Pact

Continuing exclusion of Spain from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization appears more than ever anomalous now that a network of American military bases there is finally on the point of completion. State Department and Pentagon spokesmen long ago made known this country's desire to bring Spain into the North Atlantic alliance, but Great Britain, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and until recently France have stood out against admitting a country ruled by a dictator who was helped to power by Hitler and Mussolini.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
May 24, 1974  Threatened Spanish Succession
Sep. 18, 1968  Spain and the West
Aug. 12, 1959  Spain and the Free World
Dec. 22, 1951  Franco Spain and European Defense
Oct. 03, 1949  Relations with Spain
Apr. 20, 1945  Spain in Transition
Jan. 26, 1939  Spain's Civil War and the Great Powers
Regional Political Affairs: Europe