DISCUSSION AT JOINT MEETING OF THE TRADES UNION CONGRESS GENERAL COUNCIL, PARLIAMENTARY LABOUR PARTY EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND THE LABOUR PARTY EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, HELD AT THE HOUSE OF COMMONS (ROOM 10), ON TUESDAY, MARCH 9th, 1937, AT 5 p.m.
Mr. Attlee took the Chair until the arrival of Mr. Bevin.
He called upon Sir Walter Citrine to make a statement.
Sir Walter said the meeting had been called at the request of their Spanish comrades. They had been wanting it as far back as December. They had wanted to bring in the Communists, religious organisations, etc. That proposal was supported by the French delegation. All the other delegations were opposed to that procedure. Then the Spanish comrades revived the suggestion of a Conference and during the visit of Mr. Schevenels who went to Spain with a convoy of goods, that proposal was very strongly mooted once again.
Mr. Schevenels had said he thought it would be damaging their own interests in certain countries if they persisted too far. He undertook to submit the suggestion to the I.F.T.U. and L.S.I. The proposal was submitted to the officers of the two Organisations. Sir Walter had not been able to attend that meeting but had pointed out that as far as the British Movement was concerned, it was extremely improbable that they would take part in it. He expressed doubts of the utility of the Conference. The Spanish comrades persisted in their demands and finally telegraphed to say they were willing that the Conference should be limited to affiliated bodies of the two Internationals.
The delegates will total about 200. The French were sending about 25, the Belgians almost as many.
Yesterday afternoon, the L.S.I. had a preliminary