Manuel Portela Valladares

Category: Politician and journalist
Birth Date: 31st January 1867 (†29th April 1952)
Birth Place: Pontevedra

He studied Law at Santiago de Compostela University and worked as sub-editor in the newspaper 'Diario de Pontevedra'. In 1897, he was elected doyen of the Bar Association in Santiago and one year later he got a post as recorder of deeds. He was one of the founders of the Agrarian Movement 'Acción Gallega' (1909). He acted as assistant and reliable person of José Canalejas, who nominated him as Civil Governor of Barcelona in 1910 and public prosecutor of the High Court in 1912. In 1923, he became Minister responsible for Public Works and the following year he participated in the creation of the newspaper El Pueblo Gallego (Vigo). In 1930, he was one of the promoters of 'Barrantes' Pact between the nationalist and state forces and one year later, he was elected deputy in Lugo. In 1935, he became Minister of the Interior and at the end of the year, Alcalá Zamora entrusted him with the presidency of the Government. When the revolt took place on 18th July, he moved from Barcelona to Nice, where he established himself. He came back to Spain in 1937 but he returned to France shortly after.

 Work & Activities

In 1932, he published the book Unificación y diversificación de las nacionalidades in Barcelona. In Nice he wrote Dietario and Memorias. During the Nazi invasion in France, he was persecuted by the Gestapo and was taken to prison. Although Spain requested his extradition it was not admitted.