FOR THE IFTU EXECUTIVE MEETING OF THE 7th JULY 1938, IN PARIS.
Letter from Comrade Léon Jouhaux of the 18th June, 1938,
to Comrade Schevenels
Because of the increasing repetitions of terrible bombardments of open cities in Spain, and of the efforts to starve out the Spanish Republic, we carried on a number of discussions with Gunnar Andersson and other delegates to the International Labour Conference. We also had conversations with the most important of the organisations which support the International Peace Campaign (IPC).
From all of these discussions it is clear that a growing section of world opinion is absolutely unwilling to tolerate the systematic destruction of an entire country and an outstanding people. All well meaning people are ready to support the legal government of Spain, to send food to the Spanish people and to do everything in their power to put an end to bombing.
We believe that an International Conference in Aid of Spain is necessary in order to intensify our work and make it more effective and in order to live up to popular expectations.
The purpose of the conference would be to examine the problems which I have mentioned above. May I presume to submit the following proposals? Needless to say, I am ready at every time to discuss these questions further with you.
I suggest that the conference be held in Paris on the 18th of July, 1938, the second anniversary of the beginning of the war in Spain. As one day will not suffice to complete the business of the conference, it would have to extend through the 19th. A memorial demonstration in honour of the victims of bombardment attacks on open cities, will be held in the streets of Paris on Sunday, July 17th. The parade which will be conducted in silence, will be more impressive than any other kind of demonstration. I hope that similar demonstrations will be held in many other French cities as well as in the other countries.
I suggest that the order of business for the conference include the following points:
(1) Solution of the problem of Spain in accordance with international law and the League of Nations, and urgent requests to all governments for action along this line.
(2) Effective action against bomb attacks on open cities. Dispatch of a permanent international investigating committee (This committee is really indispensable as that of the governments hesitates so long and perhaps never will be sent, while all the time thousands of mothers and children are losing their lives).
(3) Improvement of the food supply for Republican Spain.
All of the organisations will continue with the programmes that they have already made. However, after the conference they will make new and greater efforts to increase their contributions.
One of the representatives of our largest organisation of the international committee will organise the sending of food, particularly to Valencia, and will do everything possible to see that the ships carrying the food are well protected.