FRANCO EXPECTED TO NAME PREMIER
Cholee Said to Be Carrero, Backer of Opus Dei Group
Special to The New York Times
MADRID, Oct. 5—A convictipn is growing in Spanish political circles that Generalissimo Francisco Franco will take another step toward defining his succession this autumn by appointing a Premien
If so, all signs indícate that his choice will fall on the man who has long served as his principal assistant, Acm. Luis Carrero Blanco.
Admiral Carrero Blanco, now Vice President of the Council of Ministers, would become President of the Council, a position now held by General Franco.
The generalissimo, who is 77 years old, is expected to retain his principal function as head of state and most of his power.
The naming of Admiral Carrero Blanco as head of government would be a victory not so much for him — the highly conservative admiral is not considered, even by his enemies, to be particularly ambitious — as for the faction that is backing him.
Commonly known as the Opus Dei group, or the technocrats, it is a collection of men whose leader is the Flanning Minister, Laureano López Rodó, a cold-minded, shrewd political strategist. Mr. López Rodó, with some others in the group, is a member of Opus Dei, a Román Catholic lay organization.
This group gaíned considerable ground over its rivals — the Falangist-inspired leaders of the labor unions and of the regime´s political arm, the National Movement, and a conservative Catholic grouping—in a Cabinet reshuffle last year. Since then the latter groups have worked. with some effectiveness to discredit the Opus Dei faction.
Their main vehicle has been a $200-million scandal involving the granting of official credit to a loom exporter cióse to the Opus Dei group. The exporte turned out to be partly imaginary.
Two former ministers and the former head of the Bank of Spain, all of them Opus Dei members, have been indícted, and the political repercussions have threatened to touch other members of the group.
Widening Appears Goal
The situation was particular-explosive because the facmi opposing the Opus Dei group largely domínate the cortes, or Parliament. Further-more, part of the Supreme Court was apparently bent on pushing the case further to involve several members of the Cabinet.
This summer General Franco played a neutral role, first encouraging one side, then the other. By the begining of this month, however, word began to leak out that Admiral Carrero Blanco would be elevated.
The bushy-browed 63-year-old admiral is considered not so much a member of the Opus Dei faction as its champion before General Franco. It was under his patronage that a number of the Opus Dei men, including Mr. López Rodó, were brought into the Government.
The political strategists in the Opus Dei faction hope that the naming of Admiral Carrero Blanco will consolídate their position of dominance and that their rivals will be torced to mute their opposttion.
Trediction Is Difficult
Thirty years of having no political operation but General Franco´s to study has made Spaniards expert at explaining why he has done things—after he has done them.
Consequently, the exultant feeling of Mr. López Rodó´s group, and the gloomy feeling of its rivals. that Admiral Carrero Blanco´s elevation is about to take place does not rnake it a certainty, Assuming it does occur, political observers do not dismiss the possibility that a triumph of this sort at this stage may prove a political trap for the Opus Dei group.
The faction, whose public image is that of a close-knit association of ambitious bankers, businessmen and politicans, has neither public appeal nor the machinery to simúlate it. In contrast, the Falangist and labor leaders, though their popular appeal may be neither deep nor widespread, have adherents in grassroots positions.
A time of popular restiveness seems to lie ahead, with the cost of living going up and with more labor protests. Political observers belicve that a government dominated by members of the Opus Dei group will have to find some fairly effectíve answers to seripus economic and social questions or be quickly discreditcd.