Page 3, 2nd July 1937

2nd July 1937
Page 3
Page 3, 2nd July 1937 — REPATRIATION OF BASQUE CHILDREN Why Are They Being Kept Here?

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Locations: Bilbao


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From Our Diplomatic Correspondent Pursuing its object to have the Basque children repatriated to their own country as soon as possible through the direct demand for the children by Basque parents, the Catholic Herald has already been in communication with the Chief of Press in Salamanca, who has expressed delight with the idea. It has further communicated with General Franco on the subject.

The behaviour of some of those who professed themselves to be actuated solely by humanitarian motives in evacuating these children before the fall of Bilbao has already gone far to show that their motives were in fact, as the Catholic Herald suggested at the time, " mixed."

No one of any standing has ventured to throw doubt on the fact that Bilbao was taken without bloodshed and that the Basques were immediately set free and that the city is now normal and in a state of security and plenty. The Foreign Secretary himself stated that information to this effect " seemed to be generally confirmed."

Despite these acknowledged facts and despite the admitted truth that the children themselves have no other wish but to

return to their parents and their country, the so-called National Joint Committee for Spanish Relief has stated that it does not consider that conditions in Bilbao are sufficiently settled for them to undertake the responsibility of sending the children back to their parents.

Extremists It is a remarkable conclusion to come to when all the evidende points the opposite way and the children themselves and parents wish the opposite. Nor is it strengthened by the injurious remarks (injurious, however, only to the sincerity and honesty of those who made them) of certain extremists in the House of Commons who interject into debates on the question phrases like:

" What does General Franco know about common humanity?"

" May I ask the Prime Minister whether he can take some steps to discourage this campaign against these poor children?"

"Why is it that Catholic Members are so anxious to get these children back?"

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