DURING 1935 the TUC had become fully committed to the support of collective security, as the basis of its foreign policy line.
In May of the following year the National Council of Labour published a manifesto called "Labour and the Defence of Peace", which declared among other things that "Labour must be prepared to accept the consequences of its policy. A man who joins a trade union accepts the obligation of collective action in defence of its principles. A man who enjoys the collective security of a trade union must be prepared to take the risk of loyalty and his principles when a strike or lockout is threatened. Similarly, a Movement which supports the League system cannot desert it in a crisis".
So this was how matters now stood:The labour Movement was committed to uphold the League Covenant and to support the use of military sanctions if required. But the League of Nations had no armed forces of its own. And the British labour Movement as a whole still hesitated to commit itself to
the support of British re armament under a British Government whose reluctance to use sanctions to the full against Italian aggression in Abyssinia had largely knocked the teeth out of the Covenant of the League of Nations.
When the Spanish war broke out in the middle of 1936, the British Government's obvious sympathy with General Franco and his rebels deepened the misgivings of those in the trade union and labour Movements who were dubious about helping a Conservative Government to re arm.
But the TUC had few reservations about the need for Britain's rearmament. In fact, Citrine's trip to the United States and Canada in 1934 had been made "specially for the purpose of bringing home to American trade unionists that, unless the aggressors were induced to abandon their designs, war on a world wide scale was certain to break out". And there was clearly only one way, in Citrine's view, of inducing Mussolini and Hitler to call a halt.
This page http://www.tuc.org.uk/the_tuc/tuc-3225-f15.cfm
printed 24 May 2013 at 06:28 hrs by 22.214.171.124