Council of the Clothing Industries

Submitted by Juan Conatz on December 22, 2010

In 1922 the official figures for production in Spain were as follows:

Mineral Production .. 1,070,237,191 pesetas

Agricultural Production .. 9,201,300,131 pesetas

Industrial Production .. 6,500,000,000 pesetas

Under industrial production the first place is held by the textile industry, with 2,150,000,000 pesetas. The number of workers employed in this industry totals 300,000. There are 2,300,000 cotton spinners of which 2,000,000 are in Catalonia. The cotton industry employs 170,000 workers and consumes 430,000 bales of cotton. The wool industry has in Catalonia 244,624 spinners and 6,270 weavers, with 30,200 workers whose production annually totals ten million kilos.

There are entire cities in Catalonia devoted to the textile industry, such as Sabadell, which in 1917 counted with 285 wool factories? 292 cotton factories, 11,693 workers, 188,400 spinners, 4,100 mechanical weavers, using in all 16,000 horsepower. There has been much improvement since then but there is still in use machinery built about fifty years ago.

As we have suggested, the textile industry is largely confined to Catalonia where the most important factories of silks, cottons, woollens and felts are developing on an ever increasing scale. For silk there were, in 1920, twenty factories which were supplied by one thousand tons of cocoons. There are thirty schools of sericulture throughout the provinces of the country. The textile industry in Spain can very well supply the total needs of the Spanish population. There is a lack of raw material, principally cotton and wool, but cotton can be raised in the peninsula as well as in Morocco in the necessary proportion to meet the requirements.

The organisation of factory councils, syndicates and branch councils follows the procedure outlined in previous chapters. The capitalists, as such, would be eliminated, and only if they have technical capacities would they be integrated in their respective functions. As there are many small shops in this industry, there would probably be a strong regrouping of shops and factories which could be done quite easily since competition would no longer exist between different establishments.

Apprenticeship schools, research institutions, statistics, and information centres would be important parts of the textile structure. The coordination of industry would correspond to the local, regional and national Council of Economy.

Under the present capitalist system, the textile industry is undergoing an endless crisis. There are increasing numbers of unemployed alongside a rugged population. In the new economy, so long as sufficient raw materials can be obtained, there will be no paralysation of the factories until the internal consumption needs of the people have been thoroughly saturated.

The textile industries will include also the allied industries of the manufacture of felts, hats, shoes, etc. The textile groups proper will encompass the greatest number of workers and because of their importance will be a stronghold of the new social economic structure.