Council of Mining and Fishing Industries

Submitted by Juan Conatz on December 22, 2010

(Libcom contributor: There are 3 footnotes in this section, that were not available in the source material, nor could be found on the internet at the time.)

Spain is relatively rich in mines, and can produce all the minerals necessary for her economic independence. Mercury, lead, potash and pyrites are more than abundant in the peninsula and can be exported to advantage. The Moroccan zone produces chiefly iron, copper, sulphur and antimony.

Spain is one of the richest countries in iron pyrite -- with a productive capacity of five million tons per year. These pyrites are very important for the production of sulphuric acid, fertilisers, etc. There has been little use of pyrite in Spain; consequently its export would be of considerable value.

In 1920, the total number employed in the mines was 125,000, of whom close to 40,000 were in Asturias. 18,000 were lads between 16 and 18 years, and there were over 2,000 girls and women.

In 1927, the total mineral coal production was 6,690,076 tons

In 1928 the total iron mineral production was 5,571,207

the total copper pyrite production was 3,619,691

the total potash production was 243,233

the total zinc production was 122,141

the total lead production was 177,059

In 1920, the factories of minerals and their by-products numbered 417, employing 31,599 workers (of whom 959 were aged 14 to 16 years, and 2,635 aged 16 to 18 years).

In 1928, there was a total of 5,474 machines in operation with a capacity of 361,084 horsepower.

There is a special school for mining engineers in Madrid and a number of minor schools in the cities of Cartagena, Almaden, Mieres, Linares, Vera, Huelva and Bilbao. There is a specialised laboratory for essays and analysis of minerals in Madrid.

The organization of the branch would follow the general line in the respective mining zones and factories. Under the national Council there would be the mining schools, geological institutes, mineral museums and tool factories.

The products would go to the local and central supply depots from which the industries would be supplied through the medium of the Credit and Exchange Councils.

It is necessary to mention that the mining industries are owned largely by English, French and Belgian companies, which would lead to some inconveniences on account of inevitable international claims. [l]

The first great advantage which the socialization of the mining industry would bring is the reduction of work to four or a maximum of five hours and provision 4 for the highest possible security for the personnel. [2]

Capitalist owners concerned only in profit would never make these indispensable reformsÑthe international market would not permit it.

Due to its extensive coasts on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean, Spain is relatively privileged in the abundance of fish.

About 180,000 men and their families are engaged in the fishing industry, producing annually about 400,000 tons of fish. There were in 1920, 29,955 skiffs and rowboats and 1,549 motor trawlers.

In what way will the revolution benefit the fishermen? [3] First, by improving the boats and second by reducing the hoursÑwhich automatically would provide more employment. The average consumption of 20 kilos per inhabitant could be increased considerably.