14th April, 1939.
Mr. G. Reed,
The Nation Union of Seamen,
St. George's Hall,
Westminster Bridge Road,
Dear Mr. Reed,
Referring to our telephone conversation of yesterday afternoon, I have had a long talk with Senor Lizaso who is the delegate of the Basque Government in this country.
He has expressed his keen thanks for the assistance which is being rendered to the Spanish seamen and in the course of the conversation he explained that the original idea of getting them into France has fallen through as the French authorities are not prepared to grant visas for any further refugees. As there are over 300,000 Spanish refugees in France one can understand their attitude.
Senor Lizaso stated that he had talked over the future of these men with Mr. Cooper of the Home Office and he gathered that there would be no difficulty from the Home Office point of view if some of the men were to find jobs on British ships. Senor Lizaso said that he had full records in regard to the Basque sailors whom he said were very capable men, and if consideration could be given to the absorption of some of these men he would co-operate in giving any information which was in his possession.
About two thirds of the men here are from the Basque country, I understand, and the remainder are