MINUTES OF THE JOINT MEETING OF THE GENERAL COUNCIL OF THE INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF TRADE UNIONS AND THE LABOUR AND SOCIALIST INTERNATIONAL EXECUTIVE
on the 28th September, 1936, in Paris, Palais de la Mutualité.
At the request of the comrades of the Unión General de Trabajadores (Spanish National Trade Union Centre), the International Federation of Trade Unions convened a special session of its General Council, to be held on the 28th September, in Paris, at the Palais de la Mutualité, jointly with the LSI Executive.
Apart from the members of the LSI Executive, the meeting was attended by Comrades G. Hicks (deputising for Walter M. Citrine, who was in the United States with the General Secretary), L. Jouhaux, E. Kupers, C. Mertens, R. Tayerle and G. Stolz, the Assistant Secretary, on behalf of the IFTU Executive. Comrade H. Jacobsen had apologised for absence. Sixteen delegates attended on behalf of eleven countries - the National Centres of Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Holland, Italy, Luxemburg, Norway, Spain and Switzerland. Nineteen delegates attended on behalf of the thirteen International Trade Secretariats of Building and Woodworkers, Clothing Workers, Employees, Factory Workers, Hatters, Land Workers, Metal Workers, Miners, Public and Civil Servants, Teachers, Textile Workers, Transport-workers and Typographers.
The chair was taken by L. Jouhaux, Vice-President of the International Federation of Trade Unions, and L. de Brouckère, President of the Labour and Socialist International, and the only item on the agenda was the situation in Spain.
The meeting opened at 10.0 a.m.
Jouhaux (in the chair), said that all present knew that the meeting of the two Internationals had been called at the express and pressing request of our Spanish Comrades. The delegates had met so that, the facts having been noted, the situation in all its gravity could be examined and decisions taken. The idea of the meeting was less to express once again sentiments of solidarity than to look at things from a practical standpoint. It was not necessary to go into the reasons for the meeting and the floor would first of all be given to Comrade Pascual Tomas, who would explain the whole situation. Then Jimenez de Asua would supplement his statement, and, having heard them, the meeting could consider the situation and take the necessary decisions.
Pascual Tomas (Secretary of the Unión General de Trabajadores) said that the Spanish National Trade Union Centre had asked for this meeting so that all the National Centres of the IFTU and national sections of the LSI could hear a clear and impartial account of the Spanish situation.
"The dramatic times we are living through in Spain are of importance not only for the fate of our country but for the destiny of world democracy. I state categorically and will prove it to you that if the Fascist rebels win in my country, their victory will sound the knell of liberty and democracy in each of your countries in turn. Our victory is necessary to you, for the workers' movement will nowhere survive our defeat. Our National Trade Union Centre has already received valuable moral support, and help in finance and in kind, but even the despatch of ambulance units is not enough at the present time. What we need is arms!
When the rebellion broke out on the 17th July last, all the army, with all its material, took the part of our opponents. Thus at the outset we had no arms at all. And the Fascist have everything, including the most modern arms - aircraft, tanks, etc.