The New Europe/Volume 2/The Spanish Crisis

For other versions of this work, see Prussia's Proclamation to Bohemia in 1866.

The Spanish Crisis

Although the official note whereby the Spanish Government explained the last crisis only recognised one cause for it, namely the internal political situation, there is no doubt that international questions had at least as much influence in deciding Count Romanones to seek the King’s confirmation of his mandate. The internal situation is dominated by the fact that Señor Alba, the Finance Minister, whose somewhat pretentious budget met with grave difficulties in Parliament, had shown signs of restiveness and undiscipline which threatened to strike a mortal blow at the Cabinet. Meanwhile, the frankly pro-Ally attitude, which Count Romanones’ Cabinet had adopted towards the submarine question, and especially in regard to the Peace Notes, produced a violent outburst in the pro-German press. An insidious campaign was immediately launched against the Prime Minister, who was accused of favouring the Allies with an eye on his profits as a lead and coal owner, and the signal for this campaign was given by no less a person than “a high diplomatist connected with the Central Empires” (probably Prince Ratibor, the German Ambassador himself) in an interview to La Nacion.

Whatever the defects of Count Romanones, no one disputes his political skill. Without acknowledging the accusations directed against him, he seized the opportunity which his impatient Finance Minister afforded him and tendered the King the resignation of all the Cabinet on purely internal grounds. At the same time he took care to request His Majesty to hear the opinion of all his ex-Prime-Ministers and Presidents of the two Houses of Parliament, before deciding the choice of a new Premier. King Alfonso followed this advice, and after consultation with several political leaders decided to call Count Romanones again to power. By the royal ratification the Prime Minister finds himself not only the confirmed master of all his collaborators, however ambitious and impatient, but also the mouthpiece of the nation in international matters, with all the moral authority of the King’s choice and the unanimous advice of the “Elder Statesmen.”

There is no doubt that the Cabinet so reinforced will take a strong stand against the German submarine campaign, and as for peace. Spain will avoid all interference until she is certain of the willingness of both sides to discuss it. But when the opportunity arises, both the Central Empires and the Allies will find that Spain is anxious to mediate. It was not indifference, but wisdom, which made her stand out, when President Wilson launched his ill-timed Note.

This work was published before January 1, 1927 and it is anonymous or pseudonymous due to unknown authorship. It is in the public domain in the United States as well as countries and areas where the copyright terms of anonymous or pseudonymous works are 95 years or less since publication.