PRIVATE & CONFIDENTIAL. BASQUE C'TEE.
NATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR BASQUE CHILDREN.
A meeting of the above Committee was held yesterday, June 21st, in the House of Commons.
It was reported that the total money received from 23rd April to date was £27,000 (this does not include the £5,000 voted by the National Council of Labour). Expenditure to date totals £11,900 of which sum Stoneham Camp has cost £9,900. The sum of £350 has been given to local committees undertaking the care of groups of children for equipment, etc. Office salaries amount to £128, printing and stationery to £160.
1,513 children have left the camp for homes, and accommodation for another 517 have been approved and is nearly ready. The Catholic Church is prepared to take another 800, probably a 1,000, leaving 1,000 children still to be placed. Offers from local committees will absorb this number if all the accommodation is suitable, which is rather improbable.
The camp commandant reported that every thing had settled down quietly after the disturbance, caused by the announcement of the fall of Bilbao. This news had to be given to the children because a number of them already knew. Investigation revealed that the Argentine Consul at Southampton had visited the camp with presents, and told several groups that Franco had captured Bilbao several days before. He said they would be very happy under the Italians, because England was a Fascist country and they were very happy here. Captain MacNamara, M.P., has reported this to the Argentine Minister. There is still a considerable amount of spiteful rumours circulating in the locality, some of which have been traced to the wife of the Dean of Winchester. Mr. Wilfred Roberts, M.P., is asking the lady for proofs of her statements. Some national newspapers were definitely unfriendly.
Salvation Army Home, Clapton.
As a result of press reports, two of the national committee, with an interpreter visited this Home. The trouble had been chiefly caused by the fact that playing ground accommodation was extremely limited, and during the quarantine period things became difficult. Twenty-six of the older boys had been sent back to Stoneham and fifty to Hadleigh Farm Settlement. One of the adult Spanish women who brought the boys back to the camp had been allowed to bring young relatives to Clapton. The girls were happy; they said it was nice to have lots to eat and they loved sitting about. The Army staff was too small, but was now re-inforced by voluntary helpers; and coach rides, visits to Hackney Marshes and local baths were regularly organised.
In order to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998, some names within this file have been redacted. While we have made every effort to comply with the Act, there may be other named individuals within this file who are still living. We will remove any names immediately we are made aware that this is the case or if any offence is caused to living relatives.