NATIONAL COUNCIL OF LABOUR
TRANSPORT HOUSE, SMITH SQUARE, LONDON, S.W.1
TRADES UNION CONGRESS
Secretary: Sir Walter M. Citrine
THE LABOUR PARTY
Secretary: J.S. Middleton
PARLIAMENTARY LABOUR PARTY
Secretary: H. Scott Lindsay
CONFIDENTIAL August, 1936.
Circulated to the Members of the Bureau of the L.S.I. and the Executive of the I.F.T.U.
Brief Report on the Mission to Spain.
by Louis de Brouckere.
At their Joint Meeting on July 28th the L.S.I. and the I.F.T.U. decided to send a Mission to Spain to obtain information on the situation there and to consider with our Spanish comrades what could be done for the defence of their democracy.
The Mission was to consist of the two Presidents, Comrade Citrine and the undersigned, accompanied by Comrade Nenni.
On the next day, July 29th, the members of the delegation got into touch with the Spanish Embassy in Paris in order to secure the necessary means of transport. In spite of all the goodwill shown by the Spanish authorities there were considerable delays. It was finally decided that the delegation should take at Toulouse on Tuesday, August 4th, the aeroplane of the Air-France line which goes to Morocco and makes an intermediate landing at Alicante. We expected to find in this town an aeroplane connection for Madrid.
On Monday, August 3rd, the three members of the delegation assembled in Paris, ready to take the train for Toulouse, when new circumstances arose, with the result that it appeared that during the next few days Comrade Citrine could employ his time more usefully in London than in Madrid. His colleagues therefore urged him to abandon the journey and in the end he accepted their arguments. It was expressly understood that the delegation should speak in the name of the two Internationals and that it should be explained to our Spanish comrades why Citrine had not come.
Nenni and de Brouckere therefore, took the aeroplane at Toulouse at 6 o'clock in the morning, and arrived without difficulty at Alicante at 10.30. Unfortunately the aeroplane which should have enabled them to continue their journey had not arrived. They, therefore, had to wait until 10 o'clock in the evening for the departure of a train which brought them to the capital at 8 o'clock next morning.
The information which they were able to gather from the very beginning, thanks to the kindness of the Spanish comrades and members of the Government, showed them how urgent it was that the points which they had been given should be passed on to the two Internationals and to those to whom our organisations have access. It was therefore decided that de Brouckere should leave the next morning and proceed straight to Paris with a powerful aeroplane which the authorities were good enough to place at his disposal.
Comrade Nenni preferred to remain in Madrid in a private capacity. It was understood that he should attempt to organise a service of information for the two Internationals and the Labour Press.