File No.946. E36.
SUBJECT...SPANISH..REBELLION..-..VOLUNTARY INDUSTRIAL AID.
HISTORY OF CASE
March 23 Letter from Voluntary Industrial Aid for Spain, asking for appointment and enclosing reprint from "New Statesman" re voluntary industrial aid to the Spanish workers.
April 7 Interview between Mr. Tewson and G. Pyke (representing Voluntary Industrial Aid). The idea behind the Committee is that various articles which are required for Spain can be produced by voluntary labour, thus cutting labour costs and enabling money available for relief purposes to be used to the greatest advantage. V.I.A. asked two things (i) Approval of N.C.L., or message of goodwill from Sir Walter Citrine and J.S. Middleton (ii) appointment of N.C.L. representatives on their Committee.
April 14 Letter to Voluntary Industrial Aid stating that the A.E.U. reply seemed to refer to the voluntary reconditioning of old cars for evacuation and similar purposes in Spain, whereas the V.I.A. letter in the New Statesman (20. 3. 37) makes much wider appeal. V.I.A. asked to forward copies of correspondence received from Unions approving of the scheme.
April 15 Letters to: Amal. Soc. Woodcutting Machinists; Nat. Un. Vehicle Builders, Amal. Soc. Woodworkers; Amal. Un. of Upholsterers, Amal. Un. Building Trade Workers; Sheet Metal Workers, and Amal. Engineering Union Asking whether their Executives agree to the V.I.A. scheme in its full application, and whether they are agreeable to being represented on the Advisory Committee of that organisation.
April 17. Amal. Soc. Woodworkers; Cannot agree to full application of scheme, nor to being represented on Advisory Committee. No objection to members engaging in the scheme, provided they do so as private individuals.
April 18 Letter from V.I.A. stating that it was not clear to them as to what far-reaching principle is involved in their suggestion. Also intimated that Nat. Un. of Vehicle Builders and Amal. Union of Upholsterers both represented on Advisory Committee.
April 30 [Amal. Un. of Building Trade Workers write] Letter to V.I.A. stating that the matter had been referred to the Unions concerned, and that as soon as their replies had been received a further communication would be sent to the V.I.A.
May 5 Amal. Un. of Upholsterers approve V.I.A. scheme, and express opinion that evin if the scheme should extend beyond repair work to the manufacture of goods it would not be detrimental to the interests of Trade Unionists in this country.