15th April, 1937.
Mr. F.A. Smith,
Amalgamated Engineering Union,
110, Peckham Road,
Dear Mr. Smith,
VOLUNTARY INDUSTRIAL AID.
We have been approached by Mr. Geoffrey Pyke, the Hon. Secretary of the Voluntary Industrial Aid, asking for our assistance and approval of the scheme which has been arranged by this organisation in order to assist the Spanish workers.
The plan, as you are aware, is to obtain voluntary industrial labour in order to accomplish such work as the reconditioning of lorries and second-hand motor cars. They also intend to make surgical instruments, boots, etc. - all the necessities, the despatch of which to Spain is not prohibited.
In this way a certain amount of money would be saved which would otherwise have to be expended in purchasing the goods. This would be to the advantage of the International Solidarity Fund.
We understand that a letter was sent by you to Mr. Pyke, indicating that your Executive would not oppose any such voluntary service, provided that no private profits were made out of the transaction.
We are naturally most anxious to help our Spanish comrades in every possible way, but it is necessary to bear in mind that the scheme involves not only repair work, but the manufacture of goods themselves.
As this means the extensive application of the principle of voluntary labour, we think it advisable to write to you, asking whether your Executive agree to the scheme in its full application, and whether they are agreeable to being represented on the Advisory Committee of this organisation.