STRICTLY PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL.
REPORT OF INTERVIEW AT THE FOREIGN OFFICE.
Wednesday, 26th August, 1936.
A Deputation from the National Council of Labour, consisting of the Rt. Hon. Arthur Greenwood, M.P., Sir Walter Citrine, Mr. J.S. Middleton and Mr. W. Gillies, met Lord Halifax, Mr. Eden, the Foreign Secretary, and Sir Edward Mounsey.
The Deputation indicated that they wished to raise three points:
(1) As to how the initiative came to be taken for the Non-Intervention Agreement.
(2) What progress had been made towards bringing the agreement into operation, and what machinery it was proposed to establish.
(3) The special case of Portugal, and the assistance it was affording to the rebels.
The Deputation covered all these three points.
In respect of the question of initiative, the Government representatives emphatically repudiated that Great Britain had taken the initiative and denied that the matter was ever raised with them on the occasion of the talks in London between M. Blum, and M. Delbos of the French Cabinet, and the British Government representatives. The French Government took its decision about the 25th or 26th July, apparently, and subsequently approached the British Government on the weekend of August Bank Holiday, in connection with the specific difficulty raised by the arrest of certain Italian 'planes in French Morocco. There was no ground for the suggestion that the French Government had been told it would be left alone to face any incident which might arise in the event of its deciding to supply arms to Spain. The French Government took its decision quite independently and without consultation with the British