FOR THE MEETING OF THE IFTU EXECUTIVE OF THE 17TH AND 18TH MARCH.
Confidential Statement to the IFTU Executive from Comrade Largo Caballero.
At the IFTU meeting held in Paris on the 7th and 8th December, 1937 to deal with the internal conflict within the Union General de Trabajadores de España, which was attended by representatives from the two Executives of the UGT, it was agreed that an IFTU delegation, composed of Citrine, Jouhaux and Schevenels, should go to Spain and try to get the two Executives of the UGT to arrive themselves at a solution. In the contrary case, the IFTU was to propose a formula of agreement.
The IFTU informed the UGT that neither Citrine nor Schevenels would be able to go to Spain, so that Jouhaux would go alone, arriving at Barcelone on Monday, 27th December, and that the first meeting would be held on the same day at 10.0.a.m.
Jouhaux arrived in Barcelona not on Monday but on Sunday, and took part in a demonstration held in Barcelona on the fall of Teruel.
On Monday and Tuesday, the two Executives met together, with Jouhaux in the chair, and more or less the same arguments which had been put forward in Paris were repeated. In reality, these were meetings of information. Jouhaux's proposal was finally accepted, this being to convene a meeting of the enlarged National Council, which, in addition to the representatives of national Unions, would be attended also by representatives from the provincial Trades Councils. In those provinces where no Trades Council exists, a representative would be appointed from the provincial branch of the most important Union (Landworkers) and another from the local branch of the most important industrial Union. It was agreed that this meeting should be held in Valencia on Sunday, 2nd January, 1938.
The representatives invited were present at Valencia on the 2nd January, having had to expend much effort and run great dangers to get there, because of the very heavy snow which had fallen all over Spain.
Jouhaux proposed the following procedure: on Sunday morning, up till 1.0.p.m., there would be a meeting of information; then a committee of four (two delegates from each side) would be appointed to find a formula. At 5.0. p.m. the enlarged National Council would meet to discuss the formula drafted and to vote if necessary, because at midnight Jouhaux had to leave Valencia in order to be in Paris on Thursday.
In the morning meeting, there were a certain number of speakers. Jouhaux proposed that the Sub-committee be composed of Vega and del Rosal from one side and Pascual Tomas and Zabalza from the other. This Committee held a meeting with Jouhaux in the evening, but at 7.0.p.m., when the National Council was waiting for the text, the news came that the meeting had been postponed till nine o'clock.
What had happened in this Sub-committee? Vega and del Rosal had insisted that there was no other legitimate Executive than the one they represented, which was recognised by the government, etc. The only thing they agreed to was that three members of the other Executive, representing the Unions of Landworkers, Metal Workers and Transport Workers, should be added to this Executive. They immediately raised the question of the elimination of Caballero. Pascual Tomas and Zabalza did not accept the veto against Caballero and refused to take part in any discussion as long as this veto was maintained. In their turn, they made two proposals, either to fill the five vacant positions in the old