30 December, 1939.
Comrade W. Citrine.
I am writing to ask you to use the well-tried prestige of the Trades Union Congress, which you represent, and approach your Government with a request that they exert their powerful influence on the present Spanish Government, so that a halt may be called to the acts which are being perpetrated against the men of our organisations and Party, and against anti-Fascists in general. There was a time when the reports which were received from Spain recorded some alleviation of the repression which was being exercised there, principally by the Falangists. But for some time now, all reports have been unanimous that repression has taken on a character of real barbarity, and that comrades of ours are being shot every day.
The latest reports which I received say that our Comrade Ricardo Zabalza, member of the Cortes, General Secretary of the Agricultural Workers' Federation and member of the Executive Committee of the Spanish U.G.T., has just been condemned to death. I assure you that nothing can justify such a brutal sentence. Zabalza cannot be accused of having maltreated anybody. On the contrary, he was Civil Governor of Valencia at a most difficult time, and prevented the commission of excesses at the risk of his own life.
It is within my knowledge tnat the Auditor of the Republic of Spain for the duration of the war, Emilio Valldecabres, has been condemned to death for the crime of having signed the death warrant of José Antonio Primo de Rivera. I do not know if the sentence has been carried out. They condemned our Comrade Molina Conejero, former Civil Governor of Valencia, to death; but he was pardoned. Then, according to reports which have reached me, Falangist members took him from the prison, maltreated him in the most brutal fashion, and ended by hanging him.
These things are going on in Spain every day. Shootings are occurring with regrettable frequency. To whom can we turn to see if it is possible to put an end to acts of this kind?
I am confident that you will forgive me for asking you to make use of your personal influence and that of the Trades Union Congress to ask the British Government to intervene to put a stop to a state of affairs which has never existed in Spain or elsewhere in the world.
Confident that you will exert your personal influence and that of the organisation you represent, at the earliest possible moment,
(Signed) Wenceslao Carrillo.