W. J. BOLTON.
Sir WALTER CITRINE
INTERNATIONAL. 31st March 1941
MR. NORMAN THOMAS AND SPAIN.
Two years' copies of the "Socialist Call" have been carefully examined but nothing exact has been found to pin Mr. Thomas down to a declaration in favour of sending arms to Spain. His line is to have neutrality strictly enforced.
The nearest we have secured are the following implicative extracts: Writing in "Socialist Call" 17.7.37 under the heading "At the Front", Norman Thomas says:
One year of tne European war in Spain draws to its end. In that year against enormous odds the Spanish workers, at first almost bare handed, stopped the victorious march of fascism. They would not now be caught in desperate struggle were it not that they have had against them the dictators of Portugal, Italy, Germany; most of the Roman Catholic hierarchy, and the British ruling class. It is the business of the workers of the world to do all in their power to see that that evil alliance does not win".
Again on 31.7.37 under the same heading "At the Front" he writes:
Spain. "The supreme concern of all foes of fascism must be for a decisive loyalist victory in the great battle for Madrid. But it is consistent with this absorbing interest not to forget our concern for civil liberties and the right of the workers to their own associations in loyalist Spain. The news indicates that there will be public trials for the leading Anarchists and members of POUM now under arrest, but that none but Spaniards will be allowed to attend. That is an utterly indefensible position for the government to take. Hitler didn't take it in the Reichstag fire cases. The U.S.S.R. up until recent years followed no such policy. Yet in Spain it is the Communist Party which is responsible for this intolerance. Indeed it was the Party through friendly police chiefs, rather than the governments in Barcelona and Valencia, which took the initiative in the wholesale arrests. Pressure on Valencia for the preservation of civil liberty must be continued".
Mr. Norman Thomas is the Chairman of the Executive Council of the U.S.A. Socialist Party.
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