Christian Leitz writes: "Here we go again. Christopher Jones finds another kind word for a dictator, Salazar. Why, if he's so keen on that despicable type of "politician", does he continue to live in a democracy (France) and thus enjoy the benefits of a democratic system?! While I've got little time for Heinrich Brüning's track record as chancellor, I find it immensely annoying to read Jones' hateful attack on him - while, at the same time, he defends people such as Mussolini, Franco, Salazar and, all too frequently, Hitler". RH: I am still waiting for a factual, sober assessment of Brüning.

Jon Kofas writes: "When I received this email regarding Salazar, I had to smile; Christopher Jones defended Salazar while castigating Heinrich Bruning. As I am currently working on a book that has a chapter on Portugal from 1950 to 2000, I discovered that in 1979 one of Portugal's wealthiest men with investments in oil and banking acknowledged that the Salazar dictatorship was a relic of the 1930s and 1940s, when a half dozen families - Portugal's oligarchy - basically owned and ran the country with Salazar as the front man. During the 1974 Revolution, Portugal's wealthiest families took substantial amounts of their liquid assets out of the country, fearing that the return of Communists and Socialist would ruin their fortunes. But they were back by the end of the decade, merging their capital with some of the largest banks and multinational corporations in the West, and Portugal was on its way to preparing for full membership in the EEC. The interesting observation on the part of Portugal's oligarchs is that the same elites backing Salazar and Marcelo Caetano (who succeeded Salazar) believed that the time had come for their country to have a European identity and shake its authoritarian past. They did not want their country to be like their former colony Brazil, but more like France, where so many Portuguese had fled from Salazar's dictatorship. Societal change, like biological evolution, is necessary for survival!"

Ronald Hilton -