REPORT OF HONORARY SECRETARY 8/5/39
1) The "Sinaia" (the refugee ship to Mexico).
As you will see from the circulated memorandum the National Joint Committee and the British Committee for Refugees from Spain have been fortunate enough to secure the time charter of the "Sinaia" at a cost of £11 per head per refugee, and the ship will leave Port Vendres for Mexico on the 17th of this month. The ship carries 1800 souls. There is one ship's doctor and five sick bays. Miss Pollock, Secretary of the British Committee for Refugees from Spain, approached me at the Committee Meeting in regard to our promise to look after the medical side of the work with refugees, and said that she had been given to understand that included the provision of doctors and nurses for the ship together with the furnishing of the sick bays with medical material and drugs. I agreed with her tentatively but said I would like to discuss the matter with Professor Marrack. Professor Marrack agreed with me that this would make an excellent basis for our campaign for further funds. Accordingly I agreed that the British Committee for Refugees from Spain should set in train the necessary arrangements. During the course of my conversations with Miss Pollock she told me that there were a good many doctors and nurses in the camps and that as only Spanish-born people could be received in Mexico at the present time, it would be an economy if we could take Spanish doctors and nurses from the camps so that no place on the boat was filled by some person who would need to return to this country. Since economy is one of the essentials in our work I cordially agreed with her point of view. It also seemed to me that in view of the time factor, and again economy in purchasing, that the best purchasing agent would be the C.S.I, and that we should leave the arrangements in their hands. My idea was roughly as follows:-
a) to ask General Molesworth who is in charge of the preparations for the ship, to select three further doctors and 12 nurses from the camps;
b) to ask the doctors to prepare a requisition of materials and drugs immediately:
c) to got into touch with the C.S.I, and ask them to make the necessary purchases and forward the bill to us:
I therefore sent a letter to General Molesworth embodying these points, and this was forwarded with a covering letter by the British Committee for Refugees from Spain. I sent both a cablegram and a confirmatory letter to the C.S.I, on the question of purchasing the materials. At the moment of writing this Report we have not heard from the C.S.I., but there would scarcely have been time for a reply, and I hope that by Wednesday we shall be in possession of further information. I hope that I have acted in accordance with the wishes of the Committee in this matter, but it was a little difficult in the circumstances, as I had to rely on my own feeling in the matter. I might add that Professor Marrack is in agreement with me.
(Copy of cablegram and letter to the C.S.I. attached.)
2) The Glaser case.
You will have learnt from the correspondence of the unhappy position in which the Glasers find themselves. Again I thought the best thing was to get into touch with General Molesworth and Donald Darling, and attached are copies of the letters which I have sent to these two gentlemen, also a further letter to Mrs. Kapp.