23th October, 1937.
Mr. W Schevenels,
International Federation of Trade Unions,
9, avenue d'Orsay,
Dear Comrade Schevenels,
SITUATION IN SPAIN.
The Labour Party have formed a Committee for carrying on the Spanish campaign, and have informed me that they have heard that there is a good deal of distress, if not actual starvation, in certain parts of Republican Spain. I told them that we have had no approach from our Spanish comrades on this subject, and I felt that you would know if such conditions really existed, and if there were any real means of alleviating them.
I had better explain the financial position. We have in the International Solidarity Fund here approximately £11,000; of this, roughly £2,000 is earmarked for the Chinese appeal; £2,500 we must keep in reserve for the Basque children, as in any case if they remain in this country their maintenance will present an increasingly grave problem, and if they return to Spain we may be expected to help in their evacuation.
In addition to this, at least £1,000 must be set on one side for the maintenance of the German and Austrian refugees in this country who are still on our books. Then we must not overlook the amounts required for the maintenance of the hospital at Onteniente. For this purpose, I think we ought to keep back at least £1,000.
This leaves us roughly £5,000 which could be utilised for any immediate relief purposes. I do not know what balance you have in the International Solidarity Fund in Paris, and I should be glad to hear from you on this point.
There will be a meeting of the Labour Party on Monday, 1st November, and it is imperative that I should be able to inform them as to the exact position. Will you therefore be good enough to tell me, in as full detail as possible, whether you yourself have had any report as to the situation of the refugees in Aragon and Catalonia; whether any application has been made to you for assistance, and whether there is any