13th April, 1942.
Sir Walter Citrine,
Trade Union Congress,
I hope you will forgive me for approaching you on the following matter.
The Executive Committee of the Basque Trade Union, in the person of its President, the undersigned, and member Sr. Arredondo, has continued in exile, first in France and after the defeat in England, to carry out its controlling functions, representing the interests of Basque workers abroad, and giving them the guidance and counsel considered necessary.
Since the funds at the disposal of the Organisation are now exhausted, and it is necessary for us to obtain employment, we are taking the liberty of approaching you, as General Secretary of the T.U.C. to ask you if you would be kind enough to assist us in our desire to make the functions inherent in the office we hold, compatible with employment which will enable us to keep ourselves.
We understand that the following difficulties may rise, and we should like to clarify them:
(a) Possible loss of freedom of movement which would prevent the transfer, if necessary, of this Executive of the Basque Trade Union to some Latin American Republic.
(b) Excessive hours and days of work which would not allow us to give even the minimum amount of time required to carry out our functions.
If these difficulties can be overcome, we should like to participate in the British war effort, the triumph of which would also represent the freedom of many of our thousands of members who are still imprisoned in the jails and concentration camps of Spain.
We know how busy you must be at this time, but we should be most grateful if it were possible for you to grant us a short interview at which we could amplify the points made in this letter and give you any further information you may consider necessary.
P. de Ormaetxea.