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By David J. Dunthorn

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51 This, then, was the issue that defined monarchist opposition to Franco and, on 25 January 1944, the Pretender unambiguously stated his position: The information which I have received from extensive and authentic national sources increases the divergence between our respective Spanish Opposition before 1945 25 visions of the international situation and over the repercussions which world events may have on our internal policies. Your Excellency is one of the very few Spaniards left who believe in the stability of the national-syndicalist regime and in the identification of the people with a regime, under which our still unreconciled Nation is supposed to find strength enough to resist the attacks of extremists at the end of the world war; all of which Your Excellency will supposedly achieve through adjustments and concessions to those Nations which may well feel ill disposed to the policy followed so far towards them.

This was made clear on 17 March 1944 when Frank Roberts, Acting Head of the Foreign Office Central Department – where Spanish affairs were dealt with – told Britain and the Spanish Opposition until 1944 33 Frederick Leggett, Minister of Labour, that Britain could not have any relations whatever with those who were in opposition to a government recognised by Britain. 19 Ideological antipathies apart, the patent discord amongst the émigrés discouraged any British moves in their direction, even had the political will to do so existed.

It was, then, this broad array of opposition alternatives that presented itself to British foreign policy makers when in 1944 they turned to the ‘problem of Spain’. 2 Britain and the Spanish Opposition until 1944 In August 1944 the German Wehrmacht began its withdrawal from the French Pyrenees. 1 The advantage in Anglo-Spanish relations, which hitherto had lain with General Franco, now passed to Britain, and the appropriateness of maintaining a conciliatory policy towards falangist Spain in post-war Europe could be reconsidered by the British government.

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