PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL.
MEMORANDUM OF INTERVIEW.
Date 4th May, 1937,. - 6th May, 1937.
Present Senor Lizaso, Mr. Middleton and Sir Walter Citrine, Mr. H.V. Tewson.
EVACUATION OF BASQUE CHILDREN
At my request, Senor Lizaso called here to-day to discuss matters concerning the proposed evacuation of Basque children.
I said that it appeared that Mrs. Leah Manning had been telegraphing many people in this country, and that I had received a telegram which Mr. Attlee had received from her. Another telegram which had been sent to Miss Ellen Wilkinson appeared that day in the "Manchester Guardian".
Senor Lizaso said that he did not like the way in which Mrs. Manning had gone about her business. He had received a visit on Sunday morning from Mr. Wilfrid Roberts, M.P., who had shown him a telegram from Mrs. Manning demanding that the Basque Government in London should charter two ships for the purpose of evacuating children. He resented this, as he was not employed by Mrs. Manning but by the Basque Government, and any instructions to him should come from his Government. He had told Mr. Wilfrid Roberts that he expected to know from his own government what was required of him, rather than from other people in England.
This morning, 4th May, he had received a telegram from his Government in answer to others which he had sent, telling him to charter two vessels for the evacuation of 4,000 children to England. This was the only news he had received, but he had cabled for a copy of the plan of evacuation which his Government had instituted. He understood that a Mrs. Pye of the National Joint Committee for Spanish Relief was in Bordeaux, and was looking after the interests of the Spanish children in that region. He also understood that a Mr. Sam had been appointed by the National Joint Committee for Spanish Relief to organise the arrangements for the receipt and housing of the children in Great Britain. This latter gentleman had had some experience in dealing with Belgian refugees during the War. He stated that no distinction of creed or politics was being made, and that it was very important that the Catholic organisations in this country should be identified with the work of relief for these children.
I said that it appeared to us that we had two alternatives before us. The first was that we should organise this work directly under the auspices of the British Labour Movement. It was estimated that some 26-30 thousand pounds