Gabriel Arias-Salgado

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Gabriel Arias-Salgado
Civil Governor of Salamanca
In office
27 August 1938 – 9 May 1941
Preceded byJesús Ferrer Gimeno
Succeeded byJosé Ximénez de Sandoval
Vice Secretary of Popular Education
In office
6 September 1941 – 27 July 1945
LeaderFrancisco Franco
Minister of Information and Tourism
In office
19 July 1951 – 11 July 1962
LeaderFrancisco Franco
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byManuel Fraga Iribarne
Personal details
Gabriel Arias-Salgado

(1904-03-03)3 March 1904
Madrid, Spain
Died26 July 1962(1962-07-26) (aged 58)
Madrid, Spain

Gabriel Arias–Salgado Montalvo (3 March 1904 – 26 July 1962) was a Spanish politician of Falangist ideology, who held positions during the Franco dictatorship.

Known for his views related to Catholic fundamentalism,[1][2] he joined the Falange during the course of the Civil War, embarking on a rapid rise in his political career. During the dictatorship, he played an important role in censorship, holding the positions of Vice-Secretary of Popular Education and, later, Minister of Information and Tourism. Likewise, he was also a solicitor in the Francoist courts and a member of the National Council of the Movement.


Early years[edit]

Born in Madrid on 3 March 1904,[3] he studied at the Colegio Nuestra Señora del Recuerdo de Chamartín. Subsequently, he graduated in Classical Languages and Humanities,[4] also receiving a doctorate in philosophy and specializing in theology.[3]

In 1937, after the Civil War had started, he joined the rebel zone. A man from Catholic fundamentalism,[2][5] he would later become a convinced Falangist.[6] During the war he joined FET and the JONS,[7] making a rapid political career within the incipient Franco regime. In August 1938, he was appointed director of the Falangist weekly Libertad de Valladolid, which under his direction began to be published on a daily basis.[8] At that time he also held the position of civil governor of Salamanca,[9] as well as that of provincial head of FET and of the JONS.[10]

Vice Secretary of Popular Education[edit]

In September 1941, he was appointed Deputy Secretary of Popular Education.[11][12] From then on, Arias-Salgado was in charge of powers such as the regime's press or propaganda; until then these had been powers under the control of the Ministry of the Interior.[a] Among some of its measures was the founding of the Official School of Journalism[14] – whose inauguration in 1942 was attended by Arias-Salgado and Juan Aparicio,[15] and the creation of the NO-DO – acronym for "News and Documentaries" – on 26 September 1942.[16] In the Vice Secretary for Popular Education, he had the close collaboration of Juan Aparicio, national press delegate.[17] On the contrary, he had frequent confrontations with Ramón Serrano Suñer,[18] who was foreign minister who recently had controlled the press. He would also maintain bad relations with Serrano's successor, Francisco Gómez-Jordana, in relation to published information on foreign policy.[19]

Gabriel Arias-Salgado with Otto Dietrich, in Berlin (1943).[b]

A Germanophile[20] and sympathizer of the fascist powers,[21] in January 1943 he was part of the entourage that accompanied the Minister-Secretary General José Luis Arrese on his visit to Nazi Germany,[22] along with other prominent Falangists, such as Manuel Valdés Larrañaga, Agustín Aznar, Manuel Martínez de Tena, Víctor de la Serna and Xavier de Echarri.[23] In these years the press used to follow the victories of the Axis with greater attention, while silencing the military defeats of Germany and Italy.[24] This situation also occurred in the cinema, where Arias-Salgado enthusiastically introduced Nazi propaganda material, while taking care to exclude informational propaganda material from the Allies.[25] Coinciding with the end of World War II and the defeat of the fascist powers, Arias-Salgado and other pro-Nazis were losing weight within the Franco dictatorship.[26] In July 1945, the Vice Secretary for Popular Education was dissolved,[27] and its powers was transferred to the Ministry of National Education.[28]

During these years, he also held other positions, becoming the national press and propaganda delegate for FET and the JONS, attorney of the Francoist courts and a member of the National Council of FET and the JONS.[29]

Minister of Information and Tourism[edit]

Considered the main theoretician and architect of Franco's censorship,[30] he was placed in charge of the recently created Ministry of Information and Tourism,[31] a position he held from July 1951 to 1962.[32] His appointment came to constitute a reinforcement of official control on information.[31] An integrist Catholic,[33] during his ministerial stage Arias-Salgado exercised strong control over the Spanish press.[17] The writer and propagandist José María Pemán came to describe him as "one of the most ferociously good men."[34] In the ten years that he was in charge of the ministry, he directed the information policy from a staunch sectarianism; Arias-Salgado himself went so far as to affirm: "All freedom for the truth, no freedom for error".[29][35] During these years, the Francoist cultural model was consolidated, although other new forms of communication appeared, such as television.[36]

However, his political career came to an end in 1962. At the instigation of Arias-Salgado himself, during the month of June of that year, the official press of the regime launched a harsh campaign against the Spanish participants in the IV Congress of the European Movement, presenting a distorted imageof the meeting and coming to refer pejoratively as the "Munich Conspiracy".[37] This campaign, however, ended up having a very negative effect on the image of the Franco regime in Europe and even on the image of the minister himself.[c][39] In this context, he left the government and was replaced by Manuel Fraga.[40]

On 26 July 1962, just a few days after his dismissal, he died of a heart attack on the stairs of his home in Madrid.[d][41][42]


He was the brother of Alejandro Arias-Salgado y de Cubas, who was imprisoned during the first years of Francoism. On 1 April 1942, his sentence was commuted to confinement.[43]

He was the father of politician Rafael Arias-Salgado[44] and the diplomat Fernando Arias-Salgado.[45]


  1. ^ Arias-Salgado came to succeed Antonio Tovar, who had previously been Undersecretary of Press and Propaganda.[13]
  2. ^ Also featured in the photograph are Víctor de la Serna, director of Informaciones and Xavier de Echarri, director of Arriba.
  3. ^ He went so far as to affirm that the "Munich Conspiracy" had been the result of "a well-considered plan of the Antichrist", which caused astonishment.[38]
  4. ^ According to the historian Bartolomé Bennassar, the death of Arias-Salgado would have been a consequence of his dismissal.[41]


  1. ^ Domínguez Arribas 2009, p. 488.
  2. ^ a b Cazorla Sánchez 2000, p. 40.
  3. ^ a b Bardavío & Sinova 2000, p. 52.
  4. ^ Gubern 1981, p. 122.
  5. ^ Gubern 1981, p. 70.
  6. ^ O’Byrne, Carty & Thornton 2010, p. 138.
  7. ^ Lewis 2002, p. 91.
  8. ^ Vila-San Juan 1975, p. 245.
  9. ^ Redondo 1999, p. 197.
  10. ^ Espín 2008, p. 100.
  11. ^ Domínguez Arribas 2009, p. 365.
  12. ^ Thomàs 2001, p. 303.
  13. ^ Timoteo Álvarez 1989, p. 236.
  14. ^ Seoane & Saíz 2007, p. 262.
  15. ^ Montoliú 2005, p. 325.
  16. ^ Tosantos 2004, p. 102.
  17. ^ a b Rodríguez Puértolas 2008, p. 995.
  18. ^ Sinova 2006, p. 117.
  19. ^ Sinova 2006, pp. 121–122.
  20. ^ León-Aguinaga 2010, p. 123.
  21. ^ Diez Puertas 2003, p. 134.
  22. ^ Redondo 1999, p. 521.
  23. ^ Pike 2008, pp. 89, 172.
  24. ^ Sinova 2006, p. 121.
  25. ^ León-Aguinaga 2010, pp. 122–123.
  26. ^ Diez Puertas 2003, pp. 134–135.
  27. ^ Aubert & Desvois 1996, p. 275.
  28. ^ Sinova 2006, pp. 124–125.
  29. ^ a b Marín, Molinero & Ysàs 2010, p. 91.
  30. ^ Censura y creación literaria en España (1939-1976). Península. 1980. ISBN 84-297-1648-3. OCLC 7971784.
  31. ^ a b Aubert & Desvois 1996, p. 261.
  32. ^ Urquijo Goitia 2008, p. 136.
  33. ^ Sinova 2006, p. 113.
  34. ^ Sinova 2006, pp. 113–114.
  35. ^ Sinova 2006, pp. 35–36.
  36. ^ Martín Puerta 2013, pp. 8–9.
  37. ^ Díaz & Meer 2010, p. 134.
  38. ^ Penella 2009, p. 233.
  39. ^ Rojas Claros 2013, p. 37n.
  40. ^ Bennassar 1996, p. 207.
  41. ^ a b Bennassar 1996, p. 291.
  42. ^ Gubern & Font 1975, p. 101.
  43. ^ Presidencia del Gobierno, in the BOE, 9 April 1942, p. 2482.
  44. ^ Morán 2009, p. 452.
  45. ^ del Arco 1970, p. 19.


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