Multiple blank spaces will always be collapsed to a single space by the browsers. It has nothing to do with JSP or <c:out> or even how many spaces there are in the HTML. That's just the way HTML works.
You should be adjusting the position of elements with CSS, not spaces.
If you really need multiple spaces, you'll need to encode them as non-breaking space entities: . The browser will not collapse multiple entities the way it will multiple whitespace characters. [ July 30, 2008: Message edited by: Bear Bibeault ]