Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Robert E. Barbour
BARBOUR: It was in the political aorta, was the new system. It was still struggling, it was still in the shadow of what they called the bunker, the political-military establishment. They took the oath, they dealt with the old Francoists, the military industrialists, the bankers, the big businessmen, and a very noisy political party, noisy and nasty at times. But their assets, and their viability, and the mass rallies they continued to organize with the blue shirts and the upraised arms, and that sort of thing, still frightened a lot of people and caused them to believe that this group had a lot more power than in fact the first election showed that it did.
Todman concluded that they were finished, and not worth wasting time on. He also concluded, and this was almost less easy, that the old society should not be alienated, but also not worth spending any time or money on. That the area in which to work, to devote his efforts, was in this new developing sector, which was the democratic sector. Of course, our objective was to promote democracy in Spain farther down the road and bringing them into NATO. Our purposes in Spain were very clear, and he staked them out and we all went after them, and ultimately achieved them. We didn't do it, but we helped them along.
Q: The Spanish, as always, in any country they do it for their own reasons, but the point is you try to ease the way, to provide rationale.
BARBOUR: Everything we did operationally was aimed to furthering that first objective, helping democracy establish itself in Spain by bolstering certain institutions, certain individuals that we came across starting with the King. And working for a more democratic military establishment, and then NATO down the road. And so we did, by operations, we had lots of visitors, we brought in military visitors from NATO, Todman always organized a little intimate gathering, they would speak, and this went on month after month. He was out seeing them, talking to them. He was untiring, bursting with energy. And I don't want to underestimate him, with a lot of charm and linguistic facility. He was perfectly comfortable talking with the King, as well as was Wells for that matter. But by the time we got there new people were coming on the scene.