European Protests Mount
As governments throughout Europe appealed to Spain to spare the lives of six Basque separatista condemned to death, the conviction of the Basques prompted work stoppages, boycotts and other acts of protest yesterday.
Among the appeals for clemency was one from Britain, whose Foreign Ministry had earlier maintained, through a spokesman, that the matter was an internal Spanish questíon.
Sir Alec Douglas-Home, the Foreign Secretary, authorized a statement sayirig that Britain had learned of the sentences "with deep concern." The Government added that it was "confídent" that Generalissimo Francisco Franco would "take humanitarian considerations into full account."
Harold Wilson, leader of the Labor Party opposition, also issued a statement saying in part that the execution of the Basques would mean that "Spain will be taking a terrible step back into the past." Appeals for clemency also carne from the British Council of Churches and the British section of Amnesty International.
In Dublin, a spokesman for the Irish Foreign Ministry said: "An approach concerning the death sentences is being made through diplomatic channels."
In Rome, sources in the Foreign Ministry said that Italy´s Ambassador to Spain had. orders to express his Government´s hope "on humanitarian
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Governments of Europe Appeal To Franco to Spare 6 Basques
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principie" that the Basques would be spared. A former Premier of Italy, Mariano Rumore, as president of the World Union of Christian Democrats, sent General Franco a telegram asking revocation or commutation of the death sentences.
In the Vatican, the official spokesman, Federico Allessandrini, confirmed "that the action of the Holy See is continuing." Other Vatican sources indicated that Pope Paul VI might take the musual step of telephoning an appeal to General Franco.
In Rome, a bomb hurled from a passing car slightly damaged a plaque on the door of the building housing the offices of the Spanish military and commercial attaches. And in Genoa, Italian longshoremen staged a 24-hour boycott against Spanish and Soviet ships yesterday to protest both the Spanish sentences and those handed down in Leningrad against 11 defendants, nine of them Jews, in the planned hijacking of an airliner. The longshoremen refused to board one Spanish shíp and two Soviet vessels.
About 10,000 Genoese industrial and commercial workers struck for two hours in a sepárate protest against the Spanish sentences.
In France, tens of thousands of workers held flash work-stoppages — supported by all leading labor organizations — that halted some railroad and subway trains and shut down automobile and airplane assembly lines, among others.
Two protest rallies in Paris, one at the Place de la Bastille and the other on the Place Clichy, drew several thousand demonstrators last night. In the course of the Bastille rally protesting the verdict in Spain,
fire bombs were hurled at branch offices of two stateowned banks.
A demonstration also took place last night in Bayonne, the most important city in the southwestern Basque área of France. At least 4,000 people marched on the Spanish consulate carrying banners with such inscriptions as "Franco Assassin."
Maurice Schumann, the Frenen Foreign Minister, saíd in an interview with the state-run radio network that the French Government was "neither insensitive nor inactive" with regard to the Spanish situation even if it was being discreet.
Protests in Germany
Youthful demonstrators in West Berlín and Hamburg chanted "Franco murderer" as they marched in protest.
All demonstrations were banned in Caracas, Venezuela, as a precaution against disorder. However, President Rafael Caldera of Venezuela sent a plea for clemency to General Franco. Venezuelan airport ground crews and unión members nave threatened never again to service Spanish airliners if the sentences are carried out.
In the United States, the sentences brought a protest from Gov. Paul Laxalt of Nevada, who is of Basque descent. Mr. Laxalt, in a telegram to General Franco, said he did not condone "the tactics of terrorism," adding: "But on the other hand, I must speak out as an American citizen against any verdicts of a closed military trial."
Gov. Don W. Samuelson of Idaho, which has about 12,000 residents of Basque origin or descent, has asked the State Department to intercede on behalf of the convicted guerrillas.