Spanish Republicans form new government as King Alfonso flees into secret exile

MADRID, April 15, 1931 (UP) -- "Viva Espana!" Alfonso XIII called his farewell to a little group on the Mediterranean coast at dawn today and sailed into exile.

"Viva la republica" came back from the shore as the deposed monarch boarded a warship and left for a secret destination.


The cry of those who watched the last of the Bourbon monarchs depart was echoed throughout the nation as the new republic was being organized. Niceto Alcala Zamora, head of the provisional government, proclaimed to day a holiday to celebrate establishment of the republic and in cities and towns full advantage was taken of the opportunity.

There had been much celebrating and some violence yesterday when King Alfonso announced he would renounce his throne. But there remained much uncertainty and today the nation feasted with assurance.

Last night the king, who had tried to be an "iron monarch' and failed, then tried to be a small-town politician and failed, slipped from the royal palace, fearful of an attempt on his life. He took one of his racing cars and left Madrid. He was accompanied only by his chauffeur and two other autos bearing attendants.


For seven hours the deposed monarch sped across Spain, thru towns and cities where "viva la republica" was heard on every hand. His departure had been announced and few in Madrid knew he had left until hours afterward. At 4 a.m. the three autos swung into the dockyards at Cartagena.

A few officials were waiting at the pier with a motorboat. Alfonso greeted them and stepped into the boat. Then he turned back to those on shore.

"I preserve and follow my traditions. Viva Espana!" he said.

"Viva la republica" came back from the small group. One voice said "viva the king." Alfonso proceeded to a waiting Spanish warship, the Prince Alfonso, and began his journey into exile.

He was dressed in civilian clothes and seemed unconcerned over his loss of a throne. Independently wealthy, he is expected to join his family in France or England, altho his destination was not revealed.

Queen Victoria and the rest of the royal family left the royal palace this morning, drove by auto to Escorial, 45 miles from Madrid, and boarded a special train for France. They are due in Paris tomorrow morning and may continue to England.

The queen had intended to depart from the station here, but thousands of anti-monarchists had gathered there to welcome returning political exiles and she chose Escorial. She was accompanied by all the children except her third son, Don Juan, who went to Gibraltar last night and is expected to join his father aboard the warship today.


After farewells were said, the queen's party entered a salon coach on a railway side track. Cheers were given for the queen and the monarchy, followed by cheers for the republic.

The Prince of Asturias, oldest son of the king, was practically carried to the railway coach from his auto. The heir apparent would have celebrated his 24th birthday at the Madrid court within a month if the monarchy had lasted in Spain. Today he appeared to be the most broken of the departing royal family.

Alcala Zamora, busy organizing the new government, today faced the difficult task of rehabilitating a nation torn by revolutions, debt-ridden and with depressed finances. Among those who had been in political exile, he called as his minister of finance, Manuel Garcia Prieto, who is returning from France.

Prieto announced at the border today that he would attempt to nurse the peseta back to health and would recognize the $60,000,000 credit recently granted to Spain by New York and European bankers.

Zamora's new cabinet also canceled the monarchist order of martial law, promised election of a constitutional assembly, an investigation of the dictatorship since 1923, and guaranteed freedom of religion and private rights and property.


Manuel Azana, new minister of war, announced no serious uprisings had taken place, altho a general strike was in progress in Barcelona. Three persons were killed there and many injured before order was restored.

The downfall of King Alfonso started 10 years ago in Spain's military disaster in Morocco and ended after the monarch had failed in an effort to play "the small-town politician" left Spain seriously disorganized.

The Morocco campaign against the Riffs-in which an army of 10,000 Spaniards was wiped out-was the greatest disaster to Spain since the defeat of the Great Armada at the hands of England. Alfonso was charged with personal responsibility for the defeat, due to his interference in military matters.

Parliament ordered an investigation of the Moroccan charges and the king was alleged to have instigated the seizure of government by the late Gen. Primo De Rivera, who established a dictatorship in 1923 and continued in power for seven years. When he resigned, as the king's foes were quick to point out, it was at the request of his majesty.

The costly mistakes of the regents in the Spanish-American War were felt, but there was still strong hope that Alfonso would restore the strength of the crown when he became of age.


But the young ruler, who was born a king, failed to retrieve the fading glory of the throne and finally plunged the country into the Moroccan affair in an effort to gain glory for his regime.

From the moment that word of the disaster-and the great cost in lives of Spanish soldiers-reached Madrid, he must have known that he was playing a dangerous game.

There seemed to be no doubt that he realized-at last-that he was in great peril and he immediately began adopting the tactics of a provincial politician, using flattery and every other means to win the friendship of the army.

He visited the army barracks, ate with the soldiers, granted frequent audiences to military officials and made many gestures toward winning the good will of the public.

Within the last few weeks he repeatedly visited the new University City and otherwise sought favor with the rebellious student elements, but without great success.

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