MEMORANDUM OF INTERVIEW.
Date 4th February, 1937.
Time 4 p.m. to 4.35
Present Mr. Brailsford, and Sir Walter Citrine
DEPENDANTS OF VOLUNTEERS.
Arising from a conversation I had on Tuesday, 26th January, with Dr. Addison who reported that he had received a letter from Mr. Brailsford asking that something should be done for the dependants of the British volunteers in the International Column in Spain, I undertook to meet Mr. Brailsford to discuss the matter.
The interview took place on 4th February, at 4 o'clock.
Mr. Brailsford stated that there were approximately 880 British volunteers in the International Brigade. Many of these were old soldiers, but most of them were young men without dependants. 240 dependant families were at present being maintained from funds raised by the Communist Party, through whom most of the men had been recruited.
He himself had been responsible for the recruitment of 150 or 200 of the total.
A scale of £1 per week for a wife, and 10/- for a child was being paid with a maximum of £2.10s., and in this way £327 was paid out to dependants last week. This represented a normal week and there was no reason to think that the amounts would grow.
In response to my questions, Mr. Brailsford stated that approximately 230 of the total of 880 were Trade Unionists, but he could not say how many of these were included in the 240 families now receiving relief. About 40 members of the Labour Party were in the Brigade.
I enquired whether any provision had been made for the dependants of men killed or disabled.
Mr. Brailsford said that that problem had not been faced as yet, and in the few cases which had arisen, the normal weekly allowance was being paid to the dependants.
I pointed out to Mr. Brailsford that very large commitments had already been entered into by the International Solidarity Fund, and the fund was rapidly nearing exhaustion. We were faced with claims for food, clothing, medical supplies, and for the provision of a hospital, which would cost £15,000 to equip, and £1,000 per month to maintain.
More recently the demands for food had been increasing, and Mr. Schevenels who had recently been in Madrid had been faced with a great problem to decide which of the needs was