G.C. Nov.23. 1938
Item 11. I.F.T.U., Executive and General Council Meetings, Paris, 9-10 November, 1938.
At the request of Mr. Hicks for guidance in connection with matters to be discussed by the I.F.T.U. and the Labour & Socialist International on November 25th, discussion took place on various aspects of the Spanish situation.
On the motion of Mr. Lawther,
IT WAS DECIDED (16 voting for, and 12 against) to agree to the appointment of a joint deputation to interview the French & British Governments.
Mr. Tewson asked if in view of the above decision, it was proposed to proceed with the deputation to the Government as suggested by Congress, and if so, was the case to be presented solely on the ban on arms as the question of belligerent rights had now become urgent.
IT WAS DECIDED to proceed, apart from the joint international deputation, with the request to the Government to receive a deputation from the General Council with regard to the ban on arms for Spain, in accordance with the instructions from Congress.
On the motion of Mr. Bevin,
IT WAS DECIDED that the International Committee should form the deputation.
Mr. Bevin then moved,
"That a resolution be sent to Mr. Chamberlain strongly urging that in his talks with the French Ministers no support should be given to the policy of granting of belligerent rights to Franco". AGREED.
It was UNDERSTOOD that a telegram would be sent to Paris and issued to the Press the same day. The following is the text of the message sent -
"General Council of Trades Union Congress meeting to-day gravely disturbed by reports suggesting possible granting of belligerent rights to Spanish rebels. Council protests most strongly against any such step as certain to arouse deepest concern and hostility of Trade Unionists and others. Would also lead to more dangerous disunity in the democracies and involve starvation of the Spanish people. Council urges you not to involve this country in being party to such a grave injustice."
IT WAS ALSO AGREED that after the forthcoming meeting of the I.F.T.U. on the following Friday, arrangements for the campaign decided upon by Congress in support of Spain be pursued.
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