Reprinted from The New Statesman and Nation, March 13th, 1937.
WHY ONLY MONEY?
Sir,� Inevitably the money available for Spanish aid is, and will be, inadequate to the need. But why must we think only in terms of money? Is, indeed, money the largest resource of English sympathisers? It seems to me that one of their chief assets may be labour. Consequently, what about voluntary industrial aid for Spain? Few workers, for instance, could regularly give ten shillings a week to Spain. But the number who would give three or four hours a week of their labour�this comes to the same thing�may be very great.
Transport (with petrol), for example, is one of, if not the most pressing need. There are some transport jobs in Spain where reliability is so vitally important, that one new vehicle is more suitable than two reconditioned ones. But there are many others where two thoroughly reconditioned vehicles of the right type are of more use than one new one. Would there be forthcoming in Great Britain the voluntary work of engineers and others with the right experience to recondition second-hand vehicles for use in Spain? It would mean the saving of life which there will not be the money to save.
To help in the initiation of such work an Advisory Committee of leading members of almost all the Trade Unions relevant to the task, and other technicians, has been formed. Lord Faringdon has agreed to act as Treasurer ad interim. The organisations concerned with Spanish aid are heavily burdened, and do not feel that this falls quite within their province. Naturally and rightly so: for this is a producer's job.
If patience is available, while square holes are found for square pegs, use could probably be found for a quite surprising variety of voluntary ability: not only all those with experience of reconditioning cars and lorries, but journalists, translators with a thorough technical knowledge of Spanish and French, costings and ordinary accountants, and experienced organisers. Most quickly needed everywhere are stenographers, typists, envelope addressers, and typewriters, dictaphone and duplicating machines and offices. Very important is the loan in each district of any relevant plant and garages. The offer of lorries and cars as gifts, or for not more than they would fetch elsewhere, may prove magnificently helpful.
Money is needed, and in the largest and most regular possible quantities. Provided always that the right types of vehicles are selected, and the work well done, every pound will probably enable voluntary labour to produce as much, or more, than two pounds would buy. Money should be sent, not to me, but to Lord Faringdon, at this address. All postal orders, cheques, etc. should be crossed and made out to him. It is hoped, to name another example, shortly to form a Joint Committee of mechanics, engineers and doctors, to consider the manufacture by voluntary labour of wheeled stretchers. Here, too, the names of voluntary workers will be welcome.
32 Gt. Ormond Street, W.C.1.
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