DRAFT. CONGRESS REPORT SPANISH SEAMEN.
We reported to Congress last year that [financial] responsibility had been accepted for some hundreds of Spanish seamen, who had been stranded in this country in March, 1939, when the Nationalist Government of Spain was given possession of certain Spanish ships lying in British ports.
Endeavours were made to get these men a new start in life, but the work which was in hand to this end for their emigration was held up by the outbreak of war.
A large number of them have, however, secured employment at sea on neutral ships. Efforts have been made, in consultation with the Unions concerned, to place some of them in suitable employment on land, in a certain number of cases with success.
In this connection it is important to mention that we have been able to secure the designation by the Government of these Spanish seamen as "friendly aliens".
This has made it possible for them to apply for employment in certain specified categories (provided no suitable British labour for the categories is available) on British ships.
Prior to the outbreak of war, the Home Office, for administrative convenience, had dealt in small batches with the renewal of the Spanish seamen's permits to remain in the United Kingdom. Shortly after war began, investigation was made into the possibility of reaching some general basis on which this question might be handled.