Extracts from the Minutes of the General Council for June 1870-April 1872

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These extracts were drawn up by Marx at the end of August 1872 shortly before the Hague Congress of the International. Earlier, when preparing for the London Conference of 1871, he and Engels made extracts from the Minutes of the General Council for the period from September 1869 to early September 1871 (see present edition, Vol. 22, pp. 554-64). Marginal lines and marks on both manuscripts show that Marx and Engels used these extracts in their work on the relevant documents of the International. These extracts were published in English for the first time in The Hague Congress of the First International, September 2-7, 1872. Minutes and Documents, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1976.


Sitting of Council June 28, 1870

Marx proposes Brussels for next General Council etc. Resolution to be sent to all sections.


Hales announces reconsideration.

July 5. Continuation of debate. Debate adjourned.

July 12. Marx: “to write to the sections to ask them to consider the advisability of removing the Council from London. If they were favourable to a removal then Brussels should be proposed” (with mandates should the delegates come) (instruction to delegates). Only 3 vote for Hales amendment.

Mayence Congress Programme.

Sitting of Aug. 2.

Serraillier read letter from Belgium in which Amsterdam was proposed as the seat of the Congress. It would be near to all except Italy and Spain. Belgium wants the Council to remain at London, declines its transference to Brussels.

Debate on Congress.

Marx against the Brussels proposal for Amsterdam. All the sections ought to be written to and asked whether they would consent to a postponement. Instead of a Congress a Conference might perhaps be held as in 1865.

Jung against Congress. Swiss called to arms (60,000 men).

Hales (seconded by Eccarius) proposed that the sections should be appealed to to state whether they were in favour of postponement and if so to give the Council power to fix the date of convocation. (Carried.)

Marx: if the sections agreed, a conference might be held here, but he was for an appeal.

Aug. 9. Spaniards propose Barcelona as seat of the Congress.

Aug. 16. Jung communicated letter from the German Swiss Committee agreeing to the postponement of Congress and leaving it to the Council to appoint time and place; to the same effect letter of the German Social Democratic Party. Both against removal of the Council from London.

Aug. 23. Serraillier read letter from the Belgian Council in which the postponement of the Congress agreed to. Ditto from Romance Geneva Committee, Council to remain at London.

Postponement of Congress resolved.

Sitting of Nov. 22 (documents found on the Bonaparte gvt).

“On the eve of the Plebiscite Ollivier had written to all the towns of France that the leaders of the International must be arrested else the voting could not be satisfactorily proceeded with.”

Sitting of Nov. 29. Marx communicated that our Brunswick friends had been brought back from Loetzen in chains, to be tried for high treason. To frighten the middle class the police organs published long articles to tell the people these men were allies of the International Association—subvert everything, establish Universal Republic.


March 14. Robin moves to convoke conference of delegates. (Rejected.)

July 25. Engels proposes convocation of conference, seconded by Robin.

In this month Archbishop of Malines established a Catholic Workingmen’s International Association with a view to counteract the I.W.A.


Feb. 20. Art. Utin.[1]

12 March. Resolutions on United States.”[2]

16 April. Cochrane. Fawcett.[3]

  1. K. Marx and F. Engels, Declaration of the General Council of the International Working Men's Association (see this volume, pp. 77-78).— Ed.
  2. K. Marx, Resolutions on the Split in the United States' Federation Passed by the General Council of the I.W.A. in Its Sittings of 5th and 12th March, 1872 (see this volume, pp. 124-26).— Ed.
  3. K. Marx, Declaration of the General Council of the International Working Men's Association Concerning Cochrane's Speech in the House of Commons (see this volume, pp. 140-45).— Ed.