Bulletin. No. 10
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SPANISH RELIEF Bulletin of the National Joint Committee Officers : Chairman: The Duchess of Atholl M.P.; Vice-Chairmen: The Earl of Listowel, Miss Eleanor Rathbone, M.P.; Hon Treasurer: Viscount Cecil of Chelwood. P.C., K.C.; Hon. Secretaries: Mr. D.R. Grenfell M.P., Capt. J.R.J. Macnamara M.P., Mr. Wilfred Roberts M.P.; Hon. Administrator: Mr. G.T. Garratt; Organising Secretary (Basque Children): Miss Betty Arne; Asst. Secretary: Miss Olga McCleland; 53 Marsham St., S.W.1. Tel Victoria 2168. ORGANISATIONS Save the Children Fund, Service Council of Society of Friends, Spanish Youth Foodship Committee, Southern Spanish Relief Committee, Spanish Medical Aid Committee, Spanish Women's Committee For Help to Spain. Bulletin No 10. DECEMBER, 1937. PRICE 1d. WHAT SORT OF CHRISTMAS FOR THE BASQUE CHILDREN? SECURITY THE FINEST GIFT SINCE the last Bulletin appeared, between two and three hundred children have gone home to their parents, and by the time this is in the hands of our supporters the number will have increased to about eight hundred. Requests have been received for not more than a thousand children, and some of these are doubtful. It must be a great source of comfort that Dame Janet Campbell and Dr. Norman White were able to report, after handing over the first detachment of children, that they were quite convinced that they were claimed by their parents and that they were happy to be reunited. There has been a justifiable feeling of bitterness among many who have worked with great self-sacrifice on behalf of the children to maintain them and to make quite sure that nothing be done to their disadvantage, that so much misrepresentation has raged around them. It is difficult sometimes to speak with moderation of some of the twisting of facts and vituperation which have been used in the course of attacks on the Basque Children's Committee in connection with this very knotty problem of returning children to their parents. Much confusion was caused right at the beginning by designating it a repatriation problem. It should be sufficiently clear by this time that we have always regarded it our sole responsibility to do the best for the children, to protect them from any war dangers and to return them, in due course, to their parents. At length we have steered our way through. A number of the children have now been returned to parents who eagerly desire them. What is the Position Now? We first decided in May last year to bring to this country and support 2,000 children. At the last moment that number was increased to 4,000. Some have gone back to their parents. Yet these represent only about a quarter of all the children; and we still have to support in this country, and gladly undertake to support, many hundreds more than the original 2,000 for whom we budgeted. While requests may be received from time to time for the sending home of further children, it becomes more clear every day that in many cases the parents are at the present time untraceable, and many hundreds of others are refugees suffering most pitiably in other parts of Spain. There would be little point in returning at the present time, children who have had their health rebuilt in this country, are well clothed and well-fed and receiving education, to parents in Eastern Spain in areas where there is a complete lack of milk, where children are dying from starvation and are threatened by epidemics. Funds Must be Kept Up So it is clear that support must be continued. It is costing head office, quite apart from what is being done most nobly by many local Committees, at least £700 a week to keep the children. Our friends should be quite clear that one of the objects of those who are carrying on a campaign against the children for their return has been achieved. The funds of the Basque Children's Committee have been very seriously affected, and large grants are being made towards the upkeep of the children by the National Joint Committee at a time when help is also urgently needed in Eastern Spain. We must record with deep gratitude that the International Co-operative Alliance has just given us a further thousand pounds, insisting that it shall be used for the maintainence of children in this country. One or two other large gifts have also been recently received. Such support at the present time is encouraging; we urgently hope that other Co-operative organisations, who have in the past, as recorded in the Bulletin, already helped us most generously, will continue to do so. More from Everyone Wanted We must call for further support from every kind of person and organisation if our work is to be carried out. In particular, we believe that many churchpeople would be glad to increase the support which has already been given by many Christian churches and organisations.
|Archive collection||Archives of the Trades Union Congress|
|Archive folder||Basque Children's Committee: Minutes and Documents 1937-1939|
|Document title||Bulletin. No. 10|
|Issuing organisation||National Joint Committee for Spanish Relief|
|Document date||December 1937|