Memorandum of Interview.
Date 6th July, 1938. Reference HVT/FC/DT/629.
Time to Present
ASSISTANCE TO ASTURlAN MINERS.
Mineworkers' Federation of Gt. Britain. Mr. J. Jones. Mr. E. Edwards. Mr. W. Lawther. Mr. S. Hall. Mr. Watson. Mr. Horner.
The International Federation of Trade Unions. Mr. W. Schevenels.
General Council. Sir Walter Citrine. Mr. H. V. Tewson.
Mr. Jones stated that what they desired to discuss at this stage was the question of procedure. Whilst he was in Spain he saw several Children's Homes, amongst which was a home for orphans of railwaymen, and he found that there were two children of Asturian Miners there. Altogether there appeared to be 4,600 refugees related to Asturian Miners. Mr. Jones said that whilst he was in Spain he was urged not only to try to strengthen the general appeals, but to get the Mineworkers' Federation to make some special effort. In the first place there was the necessity for immediate assistance, but an important point to remember was that the problem would still be there when the war ended.
The M.F.G.B. had decided to make a special levy of 2/6d. per member to be specially earmarked for the Asturian Miners.*
Already £5,000 had been secured, and they estimated that they would get between £60,000 and £70,000.
The Nottingham District had agreed not to co-operate. They thought it should come from the political fund of the Federation.
The Spanish Ambassador had arranged for members of the original delegation, and others who had not been able to attend, to see him at a meeting on Friday, but before going, the Mineworkers' representatives were desirous of making some preliminary enquiries.
The members present had been appointed to a special Committee, charged with the duty of administering the special fund.
*It later transpired that this levy is made upon the district associations, and that they would take such steps as they considered advisable to secure money. It was possible that the whole amount might be made from the district funds.