PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL.
MEMORANDUM OF INTERVIEW.
Date 3rd May, 1937.
EVACUATION OF REFUGEES - BILBAO
This morning, May 3rd, I received the following telegram from Mrs. Leah Manning, handed in at Bilbao:
"Preparations nearing completion evacuation 2.300 children who will be provided for by French Trade Unions stop Deepest anxiety felt here lest repetition Guernica cost lives many thousands women and children stop Is there any hope English Trades Unions will follow example French colleagues stop Reply Leah Manning Presidencia Bilbao" - Leah Manning.
It seemed to me singular that this request should come from an unofficial source when I myself had been in frequent negotiations with the Basque Government representatives in this country. It was quite evident that the matter would require mature consideration, and that the Basque Government representatives would have to be consulted.
I accordingly wired a reply as follows:
"Matter already under discussion stop Discussing matters direct with Basque Government representatives in London"-
Later I got in touch with Mr. Middleton of the Labour Party and Miss Sutherland. We considered whether we should get into touch with the National Joint Committee for Spanish Relief, but we were doubtful on this point in view of the decision of the National Council of Labour that we should not be represented on this body. It appears that Mrs. Manning is in Spain as the representative of the National Joint Committee for Spanish Relief, of which Mr. Wilfrid Roberts, M.P., is Treasurer.
Incidentally, Mr. Wilfrid Roberts arranged an appointment with Mr. Tewson at this office on Tuesday/Wednesday last, to discuss the Spanish situation, but what aspect he desired to deal with was a bit obscure. He did not keep this appointment and sent no apology or explanation.
In the "Times" of Saturday, an appeal appeared signed by the Duchess of Atholl, and a number of other Members of Parliament, asking that money should be sent for the evacuation of Basque children to Mr. Wilfrid Roberts, at 35, Marsham Street, London, S.W.1.
An article also appeared in the "News Chronicle", saying that 800 children were being evacuated to France, and that the details for their removal were settled by the Basque President,