• Short Summary

    SPANIARDS GO TO THE POLLS ON WEDNESDAY TO VOTE YES OR NO ON GENERAL FRANCO'S NEW CONSTITUTIONAL PROPOSALS.

  • Description

    SPANIARDS GO TO THE POLLS ON WEDNESDAY TO VOTE YES OR NO ON GENERAL FRANCO'S NEW CONSTITUTIONAL PROPOSALS. THE NATIONAL REFERENDUM IS THE FIRST SINCE 1947 WHEN MASSIVE APPROVAL WAS GIVEN TO LAWS MAKING SPAIN A MONARCHY.

    SPANISH NEWSPAPERS THIS MONTH ADMITTED CRITICISM OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL PROPOSALS BUT NONE PUBLISHED THE TEXT OF A PETITION BY OPPOSITION PARTIES WHICH WILL REMAIN BANNED. THEY ARE THE CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATS, SOCIALISTS, SOCIAL DEMOCRATS AND OTHER GROUPS.

    THE PETITION, REJECTED BY THE GOVERNMENT ON LEGAL GROUNDS, ASKED FOR FREEDOM TO CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE REFERENDUM ON RADIO, TELEVISION AND THE PRESS. IT ALSO ASKED FOR A POSTPONEMENT OF THE VOTING DATE TO ALLOW CONTRARY OPINIONS TO BE HEARD AND FOR SUPERVISION OF THE POLLING.

    THE GOVERNMENT HAS MOUNTED A PROPAGANDA CAMPAIGN WITH DAILY TELEVISION PROGRAMMES, SPEECHES AND THOUSANDS OF POSTERS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY TO PERSUADE THE PEOPLE TO VOTE 'SI' IN THE REFERENDUM.

    THE PROPOSED CHANGES IN THE CONSTITUTION WILL MAKE THE CORTES AND OTHER STATE ORGANS MORE REPRESENTATIVE AND IN DUE COURSE PROVIDE FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF A PRIME MINISTER - OF WHICH SPAIN HAS HAD NONE-OTHER THAN GENERAL FRANCO-FOR 39 YEARS. THE PROPOSALS HOWEVER CONTINUE TO GIVE STRONG POWERS TO THE HEAD OF STATE AND CONFIRM THAT SPAIN WILL HAVE A KING OR REGENT, AS YET UNNAMED, AS ITS FUTURE LEADER.

    FOR THE FIRST TIME, TWO DEPUTIES FROM EACH OF SPAIN'S 50 PROVINCES WILL BE ELECTED TO THE CORTES BY THE ELECTORATE. (ABOUT 19 1/2 MILLION SPANIARD AGED OVER 21 ARE ENTITLED TO VOTE.) THE 100 DEPUTIES WILL CONSTITUTE ABOUT A SIXTH OF THE CORTES, WHOSE MEMBERS ARE OTHERWISE ELECTED BY STATE AND OTHER ORGANISATIONS.

    THE PROPOSALS INCLUDE CHANGES IN THE HITHERTO STATE-CONTROLLED TRADE UNIONS, BY ENLARGING THE CHARTER OF "WORKERS' RIGHTS". BUT SOME WORKERS' GROUPS DEMAND FREE TRADE UNIONS ALTOGETHER AND THIS MONTH A NUMBER OF MEMBERS OF THE UNDERGROUND LABOUR MOVEMENT, GROUPING SOCIALISTS, CATHOLICS AND COMMUNISTS, SOUGHT REFUGE IN A CHURCH AS THE POLICE WENT INTO ACTION AGAINST THEM.

    THE CHURCHES FEATURE IN THE PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES. THE PRINCIPLE OF RELIGIOUS LIBERTY FOR NON-CATHOLICS IS PROCLAIMED AS A LEGAL RIGHT, PROTECTED BY THE STATE. THE AMENDMENT IS TO REPLACE THE EXISTING PRACTICE OF TOLERANCE. A SPECIAL LAW ON FREEDOMS FOR PROTESTANTS AND JEWS-WHOSE PLACES OF WORSHIP IN MADRID BEAR NO EXTERNAL NAME-PLATE -- IS TO FOLLOW.

    THE REFORMS PROPOSED ARE IN LINE WITH THE LATEST IDEAS OF THE SOCIAL DOCTRINES OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN ROME. LAST MONTH SPANISH BISHOPS GAVE THEIR APPROVAL AND OFFERED TO SURRENDER THE SPECIAL RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ENJOYS IN SPAIN. THE MOVE FOLLOWS LAST YEAR'S DECREE BY THE VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM.

    FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE CIVIL WAR, THE ELECTORATE IS ENLARGED TO INCLUDE MARRIED WOMEN. UNTIL NOW, WOMEN COULD VOTE IN MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS (THE ONLY ONES HELD IN SPAIN) ONLY IF THEY WERE HEADS OF HOUSEHOLDS.

    WHILE THE NEW PROPOSALS CONTINUE TO PROHIBIT OPPOSITION PARTIES, THE RULING FALANGE IS ALSO SEEN TO LOSE MUCH OF ITS POLITICAL POWER IN BECOMING A WATCHDOG OF THE CONSTITUTION AND A BODY FOR "CONTRASTING OPINIONS ON POLITICAL ACTION".

    THE NEW CONSTITUTION -- THE EIGHT IN SPAIN SINCE 1812 -- SEEKS TO EASE PRESS LAWS AND YA, THE INFLUENTIAL CATHOLIC DAILY HAS HAILED THE PROPOSALS. SPAIN, IT SAYS, IS ON THE ROAD TO "DEMOCRATIC SELF-DETERMINATION." IT COMES AT A TIME WHEN SPAIN SEEKS TO PARTICIPATE MORE IN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS BY JOINING THE COMMON MARKET AS AN ASSOCIATE MEMBER.

    A WARNING ABOUT THE RESULTS OF EASING STATE CONTROL TOO FAST WAS MADE BY GENERAL FRANCO WHEN HE ANNOUNCED THE CONSTITUTIONAL PROPOSALS THREE WEEKS AGO. AS THE CIVIL WAR VICTOR AND RULER OF SPAIN FOR 30 YEARS. THIS IS HOW, AT 74, HE SEES THE PROBLEM: "SPANIARDS WILL REMEMBER THAT EVERY RACE IS BESET BY ITS OWN PARTICULAR DEMONS. IN SPAIN THESE ARE CALLED ANARCHY OF SPIRIT, NEGATIVE CRITICISM, LACK OF SOLIDARITY BETWEEN MEN, EXTREMISM AND MUTUAL ENMITY."
    "ANY POLITICAL SYSTEM WHICH CARRIES IN ITS BREAST ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THESE DEFECTS - THE LIBERATIONS OF THESE FAMILIAR SPANISH DEVILS - WILL THROW TO THE WINDS SOONER OR LATER, AND PROBABLY SOONER, ALL OUR MATERIAL PROGRESS AND IMPROVED LIVING STANDARDS."

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA2GKF5C9JOVPU3BBMY6AGV2YVQ
    Media URN:
    VLVA2GKF5C9JOVPU3BBMY6AGV2YVQ
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    10/12/1966
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:03:32:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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