PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL. August 28, 1936.
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF LABOUR.
LABOUR AND FASCISM.
The military rebellion in Spain which has raged with increasing fury for the last six weeks emphasises once more the grave dangers arising from the growth of Fascism. Organised Labour pays homage to the steadfast courage and sacrifice of the Spanish people, who have cemented with their blood the foundations of liberty and democracy.
The struggle has been brought about by Spanish officers who have broken an oath of loyalty to the Republican Government which they had recently renewed, have seduced Spanish soldiers from their duty, and have organised an invasion of their own country by foreign mercenary troops. The workers, peasants and youth of Spain, unarmed, unorganised for warfare, have rallied to the defence of the people's rights with a bravery, unanimity and energy without parallel in the history of revolutions. Events have shown that the spirit of the Spanish nation cannot be broken by any dictator.
By the supply of arms to the rebels in circumstances which showed foreknowledge of their plans, Fascist Italy created a new and immediate danger of war. This danger was simultaneously aggravated by the adoption of a similar policy by Nazi Germany which had already established a vast system of espionage, corruption and intrigue in Spain. Fascist Portugal has aided and abetted the rebellion, and its territory has been used as a base.
Organised Labour, in view of the dangers of war inherent in this situation, recognises that an agreement among the European powers laying an embargo upon the supply of arms and munitions of war to Spain may lessen international tension, provided that the agreement is applied immediately, is loyally observed by all the parties to the agreement, and its execution is effectively co-ordinated and supervised.
Although the immediate danger of war may thus be avoided, these events have shown that the Fascist powers grow bolder, more dangerous, aggressive and ruthless, and have now been able, by the threat of war, to prevent the constitutional Government of Spain obtaining arms in accordance with international law and the ordinary usages of international intercourse.
This is a portent and a warning that the democratic nations cannot ignore.
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