January 25th, 1940.
ARTIFICIAL LIMBS, etc. FOR SPANISH REFUGEES
Mr. W. Schevenels
Mr. G. Jeger.
Dr. H.B. Morgan.
Mr. George Jeger and Dr. Morgan, as Trustees of the Spanish Medical Aid Committee, had a very short and hurried interview with Mr. Schevenels at the end of the Anglo-French Trade Union Council Conference on Thursday, January 25th 1940.
(DR. MORGAN): I mentioned to Mr. Schevenels that my venturing to seek information through the Trades Union Congress and his organisation as to the Institutions about which we made enquiry was to enable us to come to a decision as to whether we would be justified to send such Institutions the funds as suggested, or whether in the present situation in France these Institutions were not in a position to do the work in connection with the fitting of refugees with artificial limbs when required. From the information he had been good enough to send us I gathered that the Maison des Blesses and the Central Sanitaire International were not functioning at present, that because of their previous Communist associations the French Government were taking steps to restrict their activities, and that without the French Government's co-operation it was obviously impossible either for them to do the work or possibly to succeed in getting the artificial limbs for the purposes required.
MR. SCHEVENELS admitted that that was so; that the Maison des Blesses and the Central Sanitaire International (as he had said in his letter to me) were not only under Communist influence, but were unable in the present circumstances to carry on any particular work.
The Trustees had decided that before any grant was made to these Institutions they should have authentic information that they were in a position to carry out the work. From this information it was clear that they could not do the work.
MR. SCHEVENELS then said that his organisation was working in close co-operation with the French Government, that the French Government had promised them help and co-operation, and that the present moment was a good opportunity to get artificial limbs as there was no great need for them in France; that there was an Orthopaedic Specialist in Bordeaux who was especially expert in this job and who could be secured to do the work of the fitting of artificial limbs for his organisation, and that if he could be assured of a grant from our Committee he could set up a small Committee to handle this particular side of the relief work. He said he knew of some cases of good socialists who had served in Spain who were in need of artificial limbs and appliances.
In the course of the subsequent discussion Mr. Schevenels made it clear that there would be no costs whatever for administration expenses, that the administration expenses would come out of the ordinary routine of his association, but he did not want to undertake this work unless he could