REVISED. 23rd March, 1937.
TRADES UNION CONGRESS GENERAL COUNCIL.
TRADE UNION FINANCIAL AID TO DEPENDANTS OF SPANISH VOLUNTEERS AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE INTERNATIONAL FUND.
In general, the question of whether a Trade Union can contribute to funds for such purposes as the maintenance of the dependants of people who have volunteered to fight in Spain and for the purpose of aiding Spanish people will be determined by the rules of the Union itself.
Normally the legislature does not encourage interference with the domestic affairs of an Association or Union, and therefore: (a) if the rules have been approved in the prescribed manner; and (b) if they do not infringe the Acts relating to expenditure upon political objects - then any decision as to whether any form of expenditure is permissible or not is a matter of interpreting the particular rules.
Extracts from Rules.
National Union of Railywaymen.
The following phrases in the statement of objects of the N.U.R. might conceivably be held to legalise expenditure for purposes mentioned above:
"To take part in the political and industrial life of the Movement; to provide donations to any institutions from which members may derive benefit; and to have power to render, as occasion may arise, assistance to other Trade Unions and other lawful purposes".
On the other hand, since there is nothing specific in these statements, it may equally be held by the Courts that expenditure on such objects is illegal.
Mental Hospital Workers.
The following extracts from the objects of the Union might possibly cover such expenditure: