NOT FOR PUBLICATION
NATIONAL PEACE COUNCIL
Memorandum in preparation for the Special Meeting of the Council to consider the situation in Spain, to be held on Thursday, February, 18th.
1. The National Council and the Spanish situation.
The situation in Spain has inevitably figured prominently in the discussions and activities of the National Council since the Civil War began in July, 1936. Full discussions have taken place in all the regular meetings of the Council since that date; an emergency meeting of the Council was held on October 27th; a public meeting for the spreading of information about the character of the revolt and its implications for the future of peace and democracy, was held at Friends House on November 17th. In addition, the Council has been in constant communication with its national affiliated organisations and with the local Peace Councils, sending to them the resolutions of the Council and practical suggestions as to action to be taken in the localities. In addition, the Council has been in constant touch with the Relief organisations - particularly in the more recent stages with the National Joint Committee for Spanish Relief, set up following the visit of the representative delegation of Members of Parliament to Spain.
The position of the Council in regard to the political aspects of the problem have been and remain governed by the fact that the Council is a representative body, existing to establish a link between and to co-ordinate the activities of the different sections of the peace movement and, by this token, placed in a position of special difficulty as regards the more controversial issues raised by the situation and the attitude of external countries to it. The Council (and the peace movement generally) has been unanimous throughout in its recognition of the gravity of the Spanish question in relation to world peace and the maintenance of democratic government; in its support of the popularly-elected and legally-constituted Government of Spain; in its insistence upon the strongest possible moral and diplomatic effort through the League and in other ways, to give some reality and effectiveness to the Non-Intervention negotiations and agreements; in its insistence (at a moment when there seemed to be some possibility that this might be the course followed by the Government) that the British Government should in no circumstances follow the example of the German and Italian Governments in according "recognition" to the rebel forces. All these agreements are reflected in the various resolutions adopted by the Council or its Executive Committee.
It has been clear throughout, however, that proposals involving repudiation of the "Non-Intervention" principle or the application of some form of "sanctions" to prevent German and Italian assistance to the insurgents would raise deep divergences in the