7, Orme Court,
Bayswater Road, W. 2.
16th August, 1939.
Sir Walter Citrine.
My dear Friend,
I have received your very kind letter of yesterday's date, and am very grateful for all you have done to enable my children Nora and Robert to be brought to England,
I am going to take the liberty of speaking to you in this letter about a problem of organisation, asking you to pardon for the labour which, by its length, this letter involves in translation.
The point is, friend Citrine, that in France work is being found for Spanish refugee metalworkers, and as the National Federation of Metalworkers in that country is controlled by the Communists, the latter are giving preference in this work-finding to their friends, with the object of giving the impression that they alone are giving any thought to the refugees. Pascual Tomás, General Secretary of our Spanish Metalworkers' Federation, raised the question with our French brother Federation, without getting anywhere. He has also raised it with Jouhaux, and he tells me that he has not replied. Would you be able, through the I.F.T.U., to intervene to the end that all metalworkers are given consideration, without regard being had to the fact whether they are members of the Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia (Third International) and whether they hold a Spanish Communist Party card? Because there is more to it, comrade Citrine. The Communists, at whose orders Negrín and Lamoneda are working, are distributing the funds which they have removed from Spain to the benefit of those who obey their orders easily. We who have the courage to accuse them of being directly responsible for the tragedy in Spain (and how many, without saying this to them, are in agreement with us! - the majority of the refugee Socialists as we can prove) we are entirely abandoned. If they are also able to obtain facilities in France so that they can go round giving employment to their own people, leaving the rest to rot in the concentration camps, the results are going to be catastrophic for our International.
You will recall that at the 1936 Congress in London, the Spanish delegates, of which I was one, defended the inclusion of the Russian Unions in our organisation. The methods used in the war have taught us the tremendous danger which this involves for the whole working class, and for myself I do not wish to bear the responsibility that it will be able to be said that, knowing the facts, we have remained silent. The Communists throughout the world help their own, and none but their own. Their own are those who suit Stalin. Are we who are not Communists going to give them opportunities for doing their work? For in France that is what is happening with the Spanish refugee metalworkers.
Do you think that the I.F.T.U. would be concerned in getting to know all this at first hand? and to see if it was worth the trouble of attempting to put it right?
I am putting this to you in your capacity as President of the I.F.T.U., asking you once again to pardon you for the trouble to which it may put you.
(signed) W. Carrillo