MEMORANDUM OF INTERVIEW.
Date 7th January, 1938.
Time 3.30 p.m.
Present Miss Jacobsen of the Scottish Ambulance Unit, Mr. H.V. Tewson
SCOTTISH AMBULANCE UNIT IN SPAIN.
Miss Jacobsen stated that she was very anxious to have a word with Sir Walter in view of the difficulties which are now being experienced on account of allegations being made against the Scottish Ambulance Unit. The genesis of the trouble is that many months ago a Russian and a German Jew, both naturalised Britishers, together with a member of the R.C.A. begged to go out with the Scottish ambulance, saying how anxious they were to do something for the Spanish people.
Very soon it became evident to Miss Jacobson (who was a woman organiser of a Section of the Liberal Party and a staunch supporter of the Spanish Government) that the three men in question were concerned only with Communist propaganda, and she found on one occasion that the ambulance was decorated with the photograph of Lenin. She refused to have this, saying they could have photographs of any of the leaders of the Spanish Government, but the Unit was concerned with humanitarian work and not with political propaganda.
From that time the difficulties of the Scottish ambulance were increased and allegations of all kinds were made. Miss Jacobsen stated, however, that throughout the whole period she has received nothing but friendship and help from all the responsible Spaniards who are deeply appreciative of the work which is being done.
It appears that the three Communists in question eventually joined the Spanish Medical Aid. She says she has seen very little of the work of this body, but is strongly of the opinion that nearly everyone connected with it is Communist and indulges in a great deal of political propaganda.
It seems that of the three men in question the German Jew and the member of the R.C.A. are now in Glasgow and are continuing with the work of maligning the Scottish ambulance. Allegations are being made that Miss Jacobsen is smuggling Fascists out of the country and of her general Fascist sympathies. This propaganda, together with the fact that Sir Daniel Stephenson [ Stevenson ] has received some award termed "The Golden Eagle" from Germany in view of his long activity and friendship with Germany extending over most of his public life, has resulted in the cessation of contributions.
Miss Jacobsen enquired as to whether a Russian who was a naturalised Britisher could return to Russia, because she says the Russian who is one of the culprits and who remained in Spain is a regular visitor to Russia.
Her impressions were that the army reorganisation has been carried out in a marvellous way. Their equipment and discipline is good and the morale splendid. The great danger she sees now is the shortage of food. She says that conditions are really terrible in this respect