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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.
Letter: F. I. de Sol.
5th December 1938,
Mr. H.V. Tewson,
Dear Comrade Tewson,
ASSISTANCE FOR SPANISH WORKERS' CHILDREN
In reply to your letter of the 1st December, with the enclosure from the Departament d'Economia, I should like to say that this problem is a difficult one, since, in view of the tremendous need for ordinary food supplies, it is not easy to decide to subtract from the funds available for the general supplies anything for the provision of toys and dainties for Christmas or the New Year. I will in any case get into touch with Comrade Santiago in this matter, and we can reconsider the question on receipt of his reply.
I should however like to say at once that, if anything of this nature is arranged, it must not be done for any one group of children in Catalonia, but should cover - as has been done in the two previous cases - all the territory under the Spanish Republican Government, i.e., in addition to Catalonia, the districts of Valencia, Madrid and so on. I am very much afraid that, however desirable it might be to arrange for such a special Christmas distribution - not only for the children but also for combatants at the front - the very high expenditure involved would make it out of the question. If, for example, only a very modest parcel is supplied for each person (say a few biscuits and half-a-pound of chocolate for each child, and ten cigarettes and half-a-pound of chocolate for each soldier) the cost for one million parcels would be between 5,000,000 and 6,000,000 French francs, which seems to make it prohibitive.