INTERNATIONAL REPRESENTATIONS TO THE SPANISH GOVERNMENT
The International Federation of Trade Unions, the International League for the Rights of Man and the Labour and Socialist International set up a Legal Committee for the defence and protection of the prisoners in Spain.
This Committee instructed Victor BASCH, President of the International League for the Rights of Man, Walter SCHEVENELS, General Secretary of the International Federation of Trade Unions, G.R. MITCHISON, Barrister-at-Law, London, and Vincent AURIOL, delegated by the Executive Committee of the Labour and Socialist International, to travel to Madrid in order to make representations to the Prime Minister and the President of the Republic.
Comrades BASCH and MITCHISON were unable to go to Madrid as they had contracted influenza, but Comrade Walter SCHEVENELS and Vincent AURIOL carried out the joint mission on their behalf.
Thanks to their perseverence through a number of difficulties, they eventually succeeded in obtaining an audience of Lerroux, the Prime Minister, which was held at 5.30 p.m. on the 9th February, 1935. The following is a brief summary of the complete minutes which were drawn up jointly by the two delegates.
Introductory Statement made by Auriol and Schevenels on the Aims of the Delegation.
After having apologised for the absence on account of illness of Messrs. Victor BASCH, President of the League for the Rights of Man, and MITCHISON, Barrister-at-Law, of London, the deputation stated that, without wishing to interfere in Spanish internal politics, it wanted to make known to the head of the Government the anxiety and distress which had been caused throughout the whole world among millions of democrats, workers and liberal-minded people, by the news received from Spain regarding the cruel repression of the October rising, the executions which had been carried out and the tortures which had been inflicted on the prisoners. World public opinion would certainly have been still further aroused were it known that, four months after the fighting, the courts-martial were still pronouncing sentences of death (twenty having been promulgated quite recently), and that these sentences might be carried out. Having recalled to the Prime Minister his own former struggles on the side of the League for the Rights of Man and the political and industrial organisations of the working class on behalf of FERRER, and against the action of the former monarchy, the deputation pointed out the great relief which would be felt in the world at the Prime Minister's assurance that no further executions would be carried out in connection with the October events and that Spain would return to its normal republican regime with the restoration of constitutional and civic rights and the liberties of the workers.