OSLO (May. 20)
A proposal that the International Federation of Trade Unions declare a boycott on delivery of merchandise to aggressor states was put forward at the Federation’s executive committee meeting here today by Leon Jouhaux of France and opposed by Sir Walter Citrine of Great Britain.
Calling for an international anti-Fascist effort, Jouhaux, who is head of the French General Labor Confederation, declared: “We have no other weapon except the boycott. We should refuse to deliver merchandise which the aggressors need for their aggression.
“If we do nothing,” he warned, “Fascism will pursue its expansion. If Spain is vanquished, France is threatened, and if France is vanquished by Fascism you will all be vanquished some day, one after the other.
“If the Soviet Union draws close to Germany, everything which still resists Hitlerism is going to disappear. I hope that will never happen, but all the same, we must face the possibility. And what will be the position then of a country like Switzerland or the Netherlands?”
Jouhaux’s appeal was supported by Spain and Mexico, but opposed by citrine, president of the Trades Unions International.
Declaring that the British unions were in no position to back up such a boycott, citrine declared that “if France, the Netherlands or Czechoslovakia tried to boycott Germany, it would give Hitler the best possible pretext for action against them.
“We would be rendering the worst disservice to the Trades Unions International by asking it to vote a resolution about something which could not be achieved. That would only display our powerlessness.”