INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF TRADE UNIONS
9, Avenue d'Orsay, Paris-VIIe
TELEPHONE: INVALIDES 45-88
AFFILIATED COUNTRIES: ARGENTINE AUSTRIA BELGIUM CANADA CZECHOSLOVAKIA DANTZIG DENMARK DUTCH EAST INDIES ESTONIA FINLAND FRANCE GREAT BRITAIN GREECE HOLLAND HUNGARY INDIA LUXEMBURG MEMEL TERRITORY PALESTINE POLAND ROUMANIA SOUTH AFRICA SOUTH-WEST AFRICA SPAIN SWEDEN SWITZERLAND YUGOSLAVIA
President W. M. Citrine, Great Britain;
Vice-Presidents: H. Jacobsen, Denmark; L. Jouhaux, France; E. Kupers, Holland; Corn. Mertens, Belgium; R. Tayerle, Czechoslovakia;
General Secretary: W. Schevenels.
13th January 1939.
Mr. H.V. Tewson,
Thank you for your two letters of the 10th and 11th January, regarding difficulties which have arisen with consignments sent through the CWS to Spain, in reply to which I would say at once that the whole trouble seems to me to have arisen, as far as I can see from your letters, from the fact that the CWS asked Enrique Santiago to cover the cross-country carriage charge from Rouen to Cerbère. I would emphasise that there is no question here of any lack of goodwill on the part of Santiago. The plain fact is that he is completely unable to undertake even the smallest payment in foreign money. The only body able to make such expenditure is the International Solidarity Fund in Paris, and it was not until the 11th January that I was informed of one or more consignments being held up at the Spanish frontier because of the non-payment of carriage charges.
You are of course quite right in saying that it would be quite unjustifiable action on the part of our Spanish comrades - who are in such urgent need of food -if they created delay merely by refusing to cover such a small charge, but they are really not responsible in this matter, since they are not able to make any payment in foreign currency, as stated above.
As soon as I was informed of the trouble, i.e., on the 11th January, at 10.30 a.m., I sent a wire to our agents in Cerbère, Instructing them to forward the goods to Barcelona, it being understood that we would cover all the outstanding carriage charges.
but another difficulty has arisen, since we received a wire from Cerbère, on the same day as your letter of the 10th January came in, stating that a consignment of