MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE BASQUE CHILDREN'S COMMITTEE HELD ON MONDAY, MARCH 20TH, 1939, IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, AT 5 P.M.
PRESENT: Mr. Wilfrid Roberts (Chairman) Miss Eleanor Rathbone Miss Pye Dr. Ellis Miss Vulliamy Mrs. Attenborough Mr. Thornycroft Dr. Betty Morgan Miss Smith Miss Donner
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Received from
The Duchess of Atholl Dame Janet Campbell Dr. Christopher Hill Miss Sutherland
MINUTES OF LAST MEETING: The Minutes of the last meeting, having been circulated, were taken as read and signed.
MATTERS ARISING ON THE MINUTES:
a) Report on Cabrils - Dr. Morgan stated that there had been disturbing reports of some of the ex-England boys who were at present at Le Bridon. Miss Odgers had written stating that four of the boys were at present in gaol for stealing bicycles and one boy was still at large. They were awaiting trial and Miss Odgers asked whether the Committee would defray the legal costs. Sr. Argote had already engaged a lawyer in their defence. Miss Pye proposed that the Committee should offer to pay a reasonable sum and should ask Sr. Argote to look into this. Agreed. Dr. Morgan reported that the boys had been written by Sr. Uranga and by Dr. Camps on behalf of the Committee, but it appeared that other English friends were encouraging them to think that they would be brought back to England. This was detrimental to their settling down, and it was agreed that Miss Odgers be asked to supply names and addresses of those who were writing in this way. Miss Rathbone moved that a strong letter be written to the boys telling them frankly that unless they were prepared to settle down in France they would be sent to Bilbao. It was agreed that with the possible exception of one boy, they should not be allowed to return to this country, but that the Committee should continue to be responsible for their maintenance. Miss Odgers asked for a grant of money with which to but materials and tools for the boys to work with. Agreed to grant £5.
b) Catholic Homes -
i. Repatriation: Dr. Morgan stated that the Catholic Homes had been circularised for particulars of the whereabouts of children's parents.
ii. Letter to Sir Alexander Maxwell - Miss Rathbone undertook to write to Sir Alexander Maxwell stating that the policy of the Committee with regard to repatriation had not
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