Concerning the Conflict in the Lyons Section (Marx, 1870)

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This is a report of the Standing Committee which it discussed at the sittings of February 19 and March 5, 1870. (Marx also attended them.)

The report was submitted to the General Council of the International on March 8, 1870. The Council, which had the right to arbitrate in conflicts arising between sections of the International, adopted the report and passed a decision on the conflict between Adrien Scheitel and other members of the old Lyons section who supported the French Left Republicans, and the group of Albert Richard, a Bakuninist.

The General Council found all the accusations made against Richard untenable and confirmed him in the post of Corresponding Secretary of the IWMA. The decision signed by the Corresponding Secretary for France, Eugène Dupont, was published in L’Internationale, No. 63, March 27, 1870.

Citizens! The Lyonese section of the International Working

Men’s Association, in virtue of a resolution passed at the Congress of Basle, 1869, to the effect that the General Council shall act as umpire in cases where differences arise between members of the Association,[1] has appealed to the Council to decide between Albert Richard on one side and Schettel, Cormier, A. Blanc, Chanoz and Vindry on the other side, the latter being members of the old section of Lyons.

The General Council, having examined the documents sent by that section, declares the accusations made to be without the least foundation and confirms the verdict of the two special commissions appointed on that subject: the first at the Congress of

Lausanne, 1867, and the second at Geneva, 1869, and maintains Albert Richard in the post of Corresponding Secretary of the International Working Men’s Association conformably to the Rules and Regulations.

Considering also that the call made by the old members upon the radical burgesses to give a decision in this case which ought only to have been known to the members of the Association is contrary to the Rules, spirit, and interest of the Association and of a nature of profiting the enemies, the General Council censures energetically the conduct of the old members of the section.

The General Council takes advantage of the position in which it is placed by this misunderstanding to remind all the members of the Association that before any publication or any public action it should be apprised of it, as this mode of proceeding is calculated to excite personal animosities which should be carefully avoided at all times, and produces divisions in our ranks, and can only be useful to our adversaries at a time when all the activity, all the strength, and all the energy of our members should be concentrated for the speedy triumph of the principles of the International Working Men’s Association.

  1. Marx refers to the resolution of the Basle Congress adopted on September 9, 1869 (see Report of the Fourth Annual Congress of the International Working Men's Association, London [1869], p. 21).— Ed.