INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF TRADE UNIONS
9, AVENUE D'ORSAY. PARIS-VIIe
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE : President : W. M. Citrine, Great Britain
Vice-Presidents : H. Jacobson, Denmark ; L. Jouhaux. France ;
E. Kupers, Holland; Corn. Mertens Belgium ; R. Tayerle. Czechoslovakia
General Secretary : W Schevenels
Telephone invalides 45-88
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PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL
Mr. Walter M. Citrine,
30th August, 1937.
Dear Comrade Citrine,
Situation in Spain
When Caballero was Prime minister he tried to diminish the influence of the Communists, which was increasing under pressure from Moscow, but it was of course too late. Moscow and the Communists in Spain then started a campaign against Caballero. In the Russian press, weeks before the fall of Caballero, we saw vehement attacks made against him, and the Russians stopped the sending of material to Spain, in order to put pressure on the Caballero Cabinet, although this material was paid for with Spanish gold.
Moscow was trying to increase its influence with two aims in mind, first of all, to bring about political unity, i.e., the unity of the Socialist and Communist Parties, and secondly, in order to stop the development of the Communist opposition party known as the POUM. Because the Anarchists protected the POUM, the Communists tried to break the strength of the
Anarchists, in order to strike at the POUM leaders.
Caballero opposed to political unity the unity of the Trade Unions, i.e., agreement with the CNT, and therefore he could not start to persecute the Anarchists, his future allies. The Communists found allies on the right wing of the Socialist Party. Prieto was disposed to agree to political unity, not because he was particularly fond of the Communists, but because his main idea was to win the war and in this he could not do without Russian help.