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By David J. Dunthorn

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7 * Hoare was made Lord Templewood on 3 July 1944; in this chapter he will, however, still be referred to as ‘Hoare’. 30 Britain and the Spanish Anti-Franco Opposition, 1940–1950 Nevertheless, Hoare stopped short of recommending the immediate imposition of economic sanctions, if Franco chose to ignore Britain’s warning. 9 Arguing that Britain should aim for a government in Spain ‘inclined to toleration and which would prepare the way for a development towards a democracy’, he proposed cooperating with the USA and France over possible economic sanctions against Spain.

Indeed, despite occasional diplomatic protests and financial and economic sanctions to curb the Dictator’s pro-Axis sympathies, the tone of Anglo-Spanish relations, at least on the British side, was remarkably cordial for most of World War II. 4 On 6 April, Eden, according to the Spanish Ambassador to London, Jacobo Stuart Fitzjames y Falcó, the Duke of Alba, assured him that Britain still looked forward to a policy of ‘very friendly relations’ with Spain. On 24 May, just three weeks after the resolution of the wolfram dispute, Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister, openly thanked Spain in the House of Commons for her services to the Allies and expressed the hope that she would be a strong influence for peace in the Mediterranean after the war.

Despite Gil-Robles’ urging, however, the Pretender’s break with Franco in January 1944 was not as final as first appeared. The simultaneous imposition of Anglo-American oil sanctions on Spain was an unfortunate coincidence obliging Don Juan to counter Franco-inspired stories that he was merely a tool of foreign interests. So, almost immediately after his statement to La Prensa, in a telegram of 3 February 1944, Don Juan confirmed his break with Franco but at the same time appealed for an agreement with him.

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