MEMORANDUM OF INTERVIEW.
Date 10th October, 1938.
DANGER OF POLITICAL PERSECUTION IN SPAIN.
The Spanish Ambassador Mr. H. V. Tewson, Mr. J. S. Middleton.
In the first place we explained the concern of our Movement in regard to reports which were current in connection with the possible early trial of Executive members of the P.O.U.M., and we enquired whether the Spanish Ambassador had any detailed information as to whether the trial was to take place and the form of the trial. The Ambassador had no specific information.
We stated that we knew he required no assurances from us in regard to the attitude of the N.C.L. to the cause of the Spanish Government. We appreciated that in times like the present internal questions were very difficult, but we were anxious that so far as the forces supporting the Spanish Government in this country were concerned nothing untoward would arise to cause dissension.
It may be felt that we were taking a very objective view in regard to these matters, but we were of the opinion that there were certain fundamental principles of justice which the Spanish Government would desire to observe.
Protest had been made by the Movement in this country in regard to certain trials which had taken place in Russia. These protests were not dictated by antagonism, but by a desire that the principle of Justice would be followed.
We appreciated the position of appearing to be giving advice to a friendly Government, but in actual practise the step we were taking was not to interfere in their domestic affairs, but rather to make our point clear that friends in this country did not desire the present difficulties under which they were working to be increased by any suspicion in regard to matters upon which the Spanish Government would be judged outside their own borders. We expressed the hope that if any trial were to take place it would be of a public character, and judgment given on the facts quite irrespective of political propaganda in regard to the case.
The Ambassador stated that he was sure the Government was determined that if any trial were held regard would only be paid to the facts of the case, and that the Court would be undeterred by rumours and propaganda from either side. He fully appreciated the spirit in which representations were being made and promised to convey to his Government the concern of the Movement in this country in regard to the matter.
THE INTERVIEW THEN TERMINATED
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