Proceedings of the 1889 International Congress (possibilist)

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Agenda[edit source]

After its National Committee had overcome countless difficulties[Translator's notes 1], in the month of July, 1889 the French workers' Party[Translator's notes 2] finally succeeded in organizing the international Paris Congress, the holding of which had been decided in London the previous year.[Translator's notes 3]

The agenda was conceived as follows:

1. International labour legislation. — Legal regulation of the working day. — Work by day, at night, on public holidays, by adults, by women and by children. — Oversight of workshops in large and small industries, as well as domestic industry. Ways and means to achieve these demands;

2. The most practical means to use to establish continuing relations between workers' organizations of all countries, without thereby reducing their autonomy;

3. Employers' combinations and intervention by the public authorities;

4. Setting of the date and location for the next Congress. — Rules to be adopted for its convocation, its organization and the holding of its sessions.


First Session[edit source]

Held on the 15th of July, in the afternoon.

On July 15, at half past one, the first session of the Congress took place in the hall of the Union for Trade and Industry, 10, rue de Lancry.

The hall — large, very well decorated, red flags flying overhead on all sides — was packed with a mass of delegates and a public so numerous they could barely find seats.

The National Committee[Translator's notes 4] sat on the vast stage; on each side a bust of the Republic, wearing a red Phrygian cap.

The Committee was made up of the following citizens:

A. Lavy, teacher, Paris municipal councillor, secretary of the National Committee for France[Translator's notes 5];

E. André-Gély, white collar worker, member of the Committee on Insanitary Housing, secretary of the Bulletin de la Bourse du Travail, secretary of the National Committee for overseas;

E. Picau, piano worker, secretary of the Central Union Federation, secretary for meetings of the National Committee;

Avey, white collar worker, deputy secretary of the National Committee for France;

Ribanier, tinsmith, secretary-general of the Bourse du Travail, deputy secretary of the National Committee for overseas;

Delacour, bookbinder, treasurer of the National Committee;

J. Allemane, typographer;[Translator's notes 6]

Ch. André, engineering worker;

Berthaut, piano worker, industrial dispute resolution volunteer;[Translator's notes 7]

P. Brousse, doctor of medicine, Paris municipal councillor;[Translator's notes 8]

Couturat, sheet metal worker;—5—

Dejeante, hat-maker;

Dumay, engineering worker, Paris municipal councilor;

Heppenheimer, piano worker;

J. Joffrin, engineering worker, vice-president of the Paris municipal council;[Translator's notes 9]

S. Paulard, white collar worker, Paris municipal councilor;

Prudent Dervillers, tailor, editor for the Prolétariat;[Translator's notes 10]

J. Vaidy, white collar worker, administrator of the Sociale and of the Prolétariat.

As in preceding Congresses, Citizen Smith Headingley lends his intelligent and valuable aid for the translation of speeches delivered at the Congress.[Translator's notes 11]

On behalf of the National Committee, Citizen Lavy declares the Congress open and reads out the following report:[Translator's notes 12]


Faithful to the mandate given to us by the two international congresses of Paris and London, we have organized the third international socialist workers' congress.

We would have wished to see workers' delegates and socialists from the whole world in this hall, we would have wished that the resolution which will emerge from this great proletarian event were made so powerful by our union that it would finally teach universal capitalism that not only the hands, but also the brain and the will of the workers have to be reckoned with.

What a proud dream! To bring together delegates of all proletarians, of all the workers of the world, in fraternity; to unite them in this Paris which a hundred years ago proclaimed the Rights of Man, and to have them solemnly declare that they will make no truce, take no rest before they have —6—won the Rights of Labour, before they have made justice and equality the rule for all human relations!

This dream, which haunted our spirits and whose realization made us proud even before the event, we, workers and socialists of this country, have been pained to see vanish just as a stormy wind disperses a cloud made golden by the rays of the sun.

We could not, of course, expect the division now exposed to the light of day.

We have been loyal and fraternal to all. We could not imagine that anyone would think of snatching the mandate given to us by two International Congresses from our hands.

At the London Congress, for the benefit of the German Socialists, we had energetically affirmed international socialist solidarity, and, at the German club, we had declared that not one of our foreign comrades could ever complain that we had closed the doors of this Congress to him due to an inquisitorial formality.

However, we had only just returned from London when two letters, dated November 26 and December 4, gave us a forewarning of difficulties to come. The well-known Dutch socialist, Domela Nieuwenhuis, told us about an International Congress that the German Socialists wanted to organize in Switzerland.

To these letters we replied that two International Congresses had made a decision, that our comrades in Germany could not place their will alone above that of those two Congresses and that, moreover, our fraternal regard in their respect made us hope that they would abandon their project, which would be fatal to the cause of labour.

There was no longer any question of the Swiss Congress. But this danger only disappeared to be replaced by another.

On January 10th, we received the following letter dated the 8th from Borsdorf:


The German Democratic Socialist parliamentarians have resolved to take part in the International Workers' Congress which, in accordance with the resolutions of the Workers' Congress of Bordeaux and of the International Congress of London, must be held in Paris during the current year. To make the necessary preparations, we have thought it essential to hold a preparatory conference.

With our Swiss, Belgian and Dutch friends, we agreed to hold the preparatory conference in Nancy, on January 18th.

We have just invited our friends the French Marxists and Blanquists, and we invite you to send one or more delegates, so that unity of action can be assured in advance.


What did such a way of acting mean?

People abroad were busy with the International Congress, and we who had been charged with organizing it were the last to be warned, even after "the French Marxists and Guesdists"; we were not told anything about the nature of the talks to be committed to, and we were taken by the throat while inviting us, eight days in advance and by the briefest of letters, to a conference of which we did not know the aim or the agenda.

In addition, this made the holding of the International Congress dependent on the decision of a national Congress in Bordeaux; which constituted, in our opinion, a strange claim. When two International Congresses have decided on a universal call to assembly, can it be the right of one fraction of the labour movement of a single country to oppose its own call to that of several nations which have been properly consulted?

Finally, we were told that it was necessary to "ensure unity of action in advance". What was behind those words? If there was an —8—intention to create a majority before the Congress and from the outside, to impose a direction on it, we were determined to oppose it.

For these various reasons, our National Committee refused to be represented in Nancy.

Without halting at that point, we continued our task and, on February 16th, our first call appeared in the newspaper Le Prolétariat.

This announced that the Congress would be held in the second half of July, determined the requirements for admission, indicated that the verification of mandates and votes would be by nationality, put on the agenda the two questions proposed by the Congress of London and warned that additional resolutions must be tabled at the start of the Congress.

It further advised all groups of workers and socialists that it was up to them to make additions to this agenda and that, together with their details, the final agenda would be fixed on May 31 and communicated to all.

In the meantime, we learned that the Nancy conference had not taken place but that it would be held in The Hague on February 28.

Summoned once again, we again refused to comply with the call sent to us: firstly, because we knew that not all nations had been invited; secondly, because there was no wish to inform us clearly what the purpose of the conference was, and because there was a refusal to recognize in advance our right to organize the Congress.

The conference took place. It drew up a note that Citizen Volders, a member of the National Committee of the Belgian Workers' Party, was charged with bringing to us.

In the first days of March, the National Committee received Citizen Volders.

Here is the note given to us in the name of the Hague Conference:


The undersigned invite the Federation of Socialist Workers of France, in virtue of the mandate it received from the 1888 London Congress, to convene the International Congress of Paris in agreement with the workers' organizations and socialists of France and other countries.

The invitation, signed by all the representatives of workers' and socialist organizations, must be brought as soon as possible to the awareness of the working and socialist public of Europe and America.

The invitation will state:

1. That the International Congress of Paris will be held from the 14th to the 21st of July, 1889;

2. That it will be made open to workers and socialists from the various countries, by enabling them to comply with the political conditions they are subject to;

3. That Congress will be sovereign for verification of mandates and determining the agenda.

The items on the provisional agenda are as follows:

A. International labour legislation. Legal regulation of the working day. Work by day, at night, on public holidays, by adults, by women and by children;

B. Oversight of workshops in large and small industries, as well as domestic industry;

C. Ways and means to achieve these demands.

The Hague, February 28, 1889. The delegates:











House of the People, Place de Bavière.

—10—Further exchanges took place, from which it became clear to us that it was certain that a Congress would be organized outside and in violation of the resolutions of the International Congresses in Paris and London.

Moreover, this Congress had already been announced by the Blanquist fraction of the French socialists.

The National Committee met on March 20, and decided to send the following reply to the note from the Hague Conference:

Paris, March 22.

Citizen Volders,

I made a mistake in indicating to you March 18 as the date of the session of our National Committee; it did not meet until the 20th. Here are the resolutions that it made:

It declared, firstly, that its mandate to organize the International Congress of 1889, in Paris, was above all dispute, the decisions of International congresses of Paris and London being binding for all. If this were not so, twenty so-called international congresses could be organized simultaneously around the world with just as much right and falsely bearing this title, since they would not result from any international will.

It would be the most complete anarchy in the place of of a union arising from a free agreement, from voluntary submission to the decisions of the series of international congresses succeeding each other to complete and perfect the work of the international organization of workers and socialists.

The Committee reiterated its reservations on the subject of the Hague Conference, reservations that had been presented by earlier letters to the conference, addressed to citizens Liebknecht, Anseele and Nieuwenhuis, and to the Committee of the Belgian Workers' Party. These reservations were, as you know:


1. That the representatives of all nationalities were not summoned to The Hague, which made this meeting improper;

2. That the purpose of the conference was not clearly stated, despite our persistent and repeated complaints;

3 That the conveners of the conference refused to recognize from the outset our right to organize the Congress, so that from then on we could believe them disposed to deny it by virtue of the answers that were given to us, and that consequently it was not permissible for us to be associated with a violation of the resolutions of the Congresses of Paris and London.

These reservations having been made to clearly establish our position, the National Committee wished to give once again a proof of its conciliatory mood and to demonstrate its strong desire not to lend itself to anything that could hinder the international understanding of workers and socialists. It has resolved, having asserted its rights, to make all concessions compatible with its mandate, its own dignity and the good order and sincerity of the Congress.

You ask us that the appeals for participation in the Congress be signed by all the representatives of workers' and socialist organizations.

That seemed impossible to us, taking it in its absolute sense. In Paris alone the following workers' organizations exist: Blanquists, Guesdists, Barberettisties or Ministerials,[Translator's notes 13] positivists, anarchists and finally the Chambres Syndicales[Translator's notes 14] which, while adhering, for example, to the Bourse du Travail, are not attached to any political or economic grouping. If the National Committee must be joined by representatives of all these tendencies, it is a real workers' parliament that you are asking to be created, a Parliament which will discuss anything but the preparation of the Congress and which will only be ready in 1890, a year too late. Of course, these citizens cannot give us their signature without being part of the Organizing Committee.

—12—Will you tell us that we could filter them? That would be a task we must refuse. We can act alone, having a mandate for that; but we do not consent to act outside our mandate, involving the representatives of some such groups and rejecting the support of representatives of others. It would be to take sides and to do a bad job of preparing a Congress whose doors must be open to all.

Be that as it may, our Committee wishes to give you every satisfaction possible on this point. The Parisian Chambres Syndicales have met in the Bourse du Travail. They have decided to take part in the Congress. We will ask them, if you wish, to provide two or three members who can join us. You will note that these Chambres Syndicales have very divergent opinions.

You want the Congress date to be set for July 14-21. In a circular, dated February 15, we announced that it would take place in the second half of July. So we agree. It of course remains, however, to take into account the opinions of other nationalities.

You want the Congress to be open "to workers and socialists from the various countries, by enabling them to comply with the political conditions they are subject to". We wrote on February 15 that there would be admission for groups, circles and Chambres Syndicales which have the aim of defending the interests of the workers and their emancipation, and which can prove their existence in 1888. Where political freedom reigns, we demand that groups provide full proof their existence. Where, on the contrary, as in Germany, organization can only be secret, we defer to the good faith of the delegates and those who mandated them.

We have repeated and confirmed this often in London and in our letters to citizens Liebknecht, Anseele, etc.

—13—Moreover, this correction to the regulations of the future Congress was already in existence since we had decided on verification of mandates by the nationals themselves. On this point, we cannot agree with you. We confirm the terms given in our circular: "The delegates of each of the nationalities, being better placed to check the existence of the groups in their nation, will be responsible for verifying the mandates and establishing their validity." To answer your concerns, we add: "except in special cases." This means that we believe that with regard to mandates only the interested nations can judge the points of fact and assess their validity with certainty; that on the contrary the Congress, taken as a whole, ignorant of the facts, could only decide by giving in to prejudices or sympathies. However we admit that if, exceptionally, a serious case occurs, and a rejection appears to be proposed against all justice, Congress, once it has grasped the case, will decide in the last resort.

We cannot accept that Congress is 'sovereign' in fixing its own agenda. Delegates are not rulers or masters, but servants and agents. They must therefore report to the Congress with a firm mandate on issues which have been considered in advance by their constituents.

For these reasons it is essential to follow the method we have used: first, draft a provisional agenda in accordance with the last resolution of the International Congress in London; invite all member groups to request additions or modifications, then, once all this information has been received, set, on May 31, six weeks before the Congress, the final agenda. So everyone has been consulted, everyone knows what positions to take; the mandates are clear and no surprises are possible for anybody.

You think it useful to substitute a new, broader and better formula in the 1st paragraph of the agenda; we accept it whole, as you can see from the minutes of our last meeting, which appeared in the Prolétariat of March 23.

The remainder of the provisional agenda is to be kept as it is until after receipt of the opinion of the various member nations.

You told us, Citizen Volders, that if our National Committee did not accept the decisions of the Hague Conference, you would be sure to go on to organize another Congress opposed to the one we have the task of preparing.

So you brought us an ultimatum and not a fraternal note between comrades who wanted guarantees for the union of all workers.

We have made those concessions which are possible here, without being antagonized by the impropriety of your conference, the lack of sympathy which it demonstrated towards us, the unfair lack of trust in us that it testified to. We do not want any share of responsibility for a split that could arise in the international world of labour. We hope that these feelings will inspire you too and that this is the end of these dialogues of the deaf that would make impossible the international understanding that you must wish for just as we do.

1789 was a great and radiant year for mankind; 1889 must mark another stage, higher and more fruitful still; we must affirm the universal solidarity of all workers and all socialists who want full human emancipation.

We look forward to your response with confidence. We have fulfilled and will continue to fulfill our duty in all conscience, the duty imposed on us by the Paris and London Congresses. Having given our explanations fairly, we hope that any misunderstanding will be cleared up, and that the Belgians, Germans, —15—Swiss, and Dutch, will confirm your participation just as the Danes, English, Americans, Portuguese, and Italians have already done and that you will not consent, on such an anniversary, to present capitalist and political feudalism with the delightful spectacle of the division of those whose interest and mission are to unite fraternally and indissolubly to fight it.

By order and on behalf of the National Committee,

The Secretary for France,


We never got a response to that letter, nor were any new steps taken in our regard. We were threatened with the organization of a second Congress; they organized it.

As for us, while we remained firm in our rights and in the accomplishment of our task, while we did not ignore the freely taken resolutions of the International Congresses in Paris and London, we made all the concessions needed to confirm our fairness and our spirit of tolerance.

From the very beginning, and at our request, the vast majority of the Chambres Syndicales of Paris worked with us, as is proved by a manifesto they gave to the newspaper the Prolétariat on March 9th, and which they sent to all workers' groups in France.

They had created a committee which never stopped being constantly active, in agreement with our National Committee, and to those comrades who have actively helped us we must here address our praise and our fraternal thanks.

On April 6, we published a new manifesto that took into account the claims of the Hague Conference within the limits we had laid down.

Our friends from Denmark and England made a —16—series of proposals to us that we have accepted with an eagerness to which they have done full justice. It was to be congenial to them and to avoid any doubt that on May 18th we issued the following statement:

The National Committee, organizer of the 1889 International Congress, persists in thinking, in agreement with most of the nationalities that have been consulted on this topic, that the agenda of the Congress must be fixed before it opens.

This agenda must be known long enough in advance for the delegates to be given a mandate for each article.

The participating nations will be consulted on the additions and modifications to be made to it. If three or four nations formulate the same opinion, before the 31st May, the agenda will be modified or amplified according to the wishes they have expressed to the National Committee.

No question can be added to the agenda after May 31, and still less during the Congress. However, it remains understood that if a serious event occurs unexpectedly, affecting the interests of the workers and the socialist cause, it will be open to any delegate to inform Congress and ask for a discussion and even a vote on it.

Honesty and socialist principles demand that delegates take action as they have been mandated; but common sense can tell these delegates, in the face of a serious, sudden and unforeseen event, to take upon themselves, in the interest of those who mandated them, the responsibility for a decision which time would not allow to be referred back.

On behalf of the National Committee,

The secretary for France,


—17—To meet the wishes of our comrades in England and Denmark, we have also stated, in very clear terms, that while we believe in the advantages of the verification of mandates by nationality, we accept that "any delegate in case of difficulty, will have the right to appeal to Congress."

For the same purpose, we have added two new paragraphs to the agenda.

The letters we have in our hands testify that the English and Danish recognize the absolute correctness of our attitude, our perfect fairness and the tolerance of our spirit.

We have given one last proof of this tolerance. In the last few days representations have been made to us with a view to merging the two Congresses. Our friends from Denmark have intervened once again. We have answered them in the following terms:

Paris, July 9th, 1889.

To the Central Council of the Danish Workers' Party.


We reply to your last note by saying:

1. In our opinion, there was and could only be one attitude to take for socialists and workers abroad in relation to the Congress: join the only legitimate Congress, make every effort to ensure that everything there takes place perfectly correctly; finally, go to the dissident Congress with the intention of returning the strayed to their duty. If all other nations had acted in this way, the current situation would not cause any fear to anyone;

2. We are ready to do everything possible for only one Congress to be held. We have proved it to you —18—on various occasions. Even after July 15th our doors will remain open, and we will forget the divisive attempts against us to facilitate holding a single Congress.

We cannot in any case legitimately oppose it. We have been delegated solely to organize the Congress. It is not therefore for us to reject any group of workers or socialists who wants to respond to the invitation of the International Congresses of Paris and London.

3. With the question thus clearly posed, our Committee cannot accept the merger of the dissident Congress with the regular Congress other than under the following conditions:

A. The verification of the mandates will be done in the combined Congress, by nationality, with the right of appeal to Congress for contested delegates.

B. The Congress will deliberate only on the two agendas of the two Congresses convened today. No new question can be added to the agenda, unless it is the result of a serious political or economic event occuring during the Congress.

C. Paragraph 2 of the agenda of the legitimate Congress will replace the analagous paragraph on the agenda of the dissenting congress.

With these reservations, we hope that your efforts succeed and we above all express the lively desire that you, our comrades in Denmark, will be in Paris in a few days to strengthen our ties of fraternal solidarity.

Please accept, citizens, our cordially revolutionary greetings.

By order and on behalf of the National Committee,

The Secretary for France


—19—After this report, we wonder with real bemusement how our conduct and the numerous approaches made to the organizers of the second Congress by the English and Danish Socialists did not completely stop the split, did not restore the understanding so unfortunately broken.

Why this dissident Congress? No reason has been given publicly to justify it.

Is it because we are accused of wanting to unfairly oust one of our adversaries?

But we have always admitted all of our opponents to all of our national Congresses. How could we be so foolish as to seek to oust them from an International Congress of which we are only the conveners?

In addition, it was understood that Congress would itself decide on disputed mandates, and our acceptance of this point is the best proof of our good faith.

Would we be criticized for not wanting to agree to Congress being sovereign to set its agenda?

Oh! if so, we are proud to incur this reproach. Democrats and socialists, we will never admit that delegates to a Congress have the right to deliberate and vote without a mandate. It is the mass of citizens of our groups which must make the law, and not a small group of men who impose it on them.

Our party of republicans, democrats, and socialists, would refuse to take part in any Congress where there are only celebrities, which is not a meeting of delegates with a mandate and faithful executors of the orders of their comrades.

Would we be found to be insufficiently socialist?

Ah! we do not want to start any arguments here. But our democratic socialism can bear comparison with any other, something we look forward to all the more as we are not inclined to run away from it.

—20—So what are the causes that led to the formation of a second Congress? We would expose them without difficulty, if, while determined to defend ourselves against any slanderous imputation, we were not at the same time determined to do nothing which hinders the union worked for by many of our foreign comrades and so gladly accepted by us.

In any case, why waste more time with you, citizens, in examining the causes of this lamentable split? You have done us justice. Your presence attests to your esteem and your sympathies. For you, longer explanations are unnecessary.

England, Scotland and Ireland are represented here by 42 delegates. Despite the Parliamentary Committee of Trades Unions, whose liberalism is one hundred times below that of its members, 17 unions have joined us.

In London, a Committee received the honourable mission of smoothing out the difficulties, to bring about the merger of the two Congresses; it has failed to this day, and has only been able to record that if the split had not been resolved, the fault was not ours.

We French owe this Committee the public testimony of our gratitude for its fraternal efforts.

Despite its poverty, the Social Democratic Federation has 15 representatives here. Once again, it shows its energetic dedication to the cause of social progress.

Austria and Hungary have 7 delegates who represent 28 workers' associations for Austria and 48 associations and 18 circles for Hungary. It is a powerful effort for a nation whose freedom is so harshly treated.

Seven Spanish delegates are with us and will thus affirm that the great socialist movement beyond the Pyrenees is as alive as ever.

Italy has sent us 7 delegates who come on behalf of the workers' party of Romagna, the cities of Naples, Rome, —21—Livorno, Pesaro, and the Italian associations of Zurich, Alexandria and Cairo.

The Belgian Workers' Party officially joined us at the Jolimont Congress after the explanations given there by Citizen Paulard, delegate of our National Committee, and 7 delegates from this party represent it at the Congress.

The United States has only four delegates, but they represent thousands of those valiant Knights of Labor, whose dedication to our cause is universally admired.

The workers' associations in Portugal are poor, and yet two delegates came to us from this small and brave country which so worthily holds its place in the universal socialist movement.

At the beginning of this year we were joined by the Federation of Chambres Syndicales of Denmark. Later, our friends thought they had to withdraw. They did so on very friendly terms, saying that we had never stopped being right, that there was no reason not to come to our Congress, but that, not wishing to alienate the friendship of any socialist, they would stay at home. They have since made a new decision, and we greet with pleasure their two delegates, among whom is our friend Citizen Jensen, President of the Federation of Danish Chambres Syndicales.[Translator's notes 15]

The Chambre SYndicales of iron moulders in Copenhagen had joined us beforehand.

From Switzerland we only have one delegate; but he represents a friendly people, and we welcome his presence, hoping that it is a pledge for the swift return of comrades who have been deceived on our account.

Poland itself, despite Russian tyranny, has delegated one of its valiant socialists.

Finally, France has given 218 member organizations and appointed 477 delegates.

—22—Paris and the provinces provide 136 Chambres Syndicales or federations of Chambres Syndicales and 7 social study circles.

42 towns in France have their representatives here.

We are proud of this result which shows that French socialist democracy has all the splendor of her youthful vigour.

Whatever the political divisions of our country for more than a year, whatever attacks have been directed against us to disorganize us and make us lose our way, we are still on our feet, more numerous, more resolute; we are on our feet for the defense of the Republic, for the assertion of the rights of labour, for the conquest of social equality; we are on our feet to reach out to you with fraternal hands, our friends from all points of the Universe, and to swear with you, a hundred years after the birth of our Revolution, that our wills and our lives will be consecrated, will be spent for the full emancipation of humanity.

The reading of this report is frequently interrupted by lively signs of approval; the end is greeted by long bursts of applause which show the National Committee that the fairness and wisdom of its attitude have been recognized.

Citizen Lavy then declares that the task of the National Committee is over, that it now just needs to disappear, leaving Congress henceforth sole master of its own organization and so proving once more that it does not intend to impose itself on anybody.

The Congress proceeds to the vote to select the Bureau.

Citizen Snow, English, is appointed chairman for the foreign delegation; Citizen J. Joffrin, Vice-President of the Paris City Council, as chairman of the French delegation. The assessors are: citizeness —23—Simcox, English, and citizen Andrea Costa, Italian;[Translator's notes 16] the secretaries, citizens Lavy and Galiment.

It is decided that the Bureau will be replaced for each session.

Citizen Gilliard, of the Union Française, complains that he has been asked for his ticket several times in the hall, and asks that the stewards be provided with their details.

The French chairman says that Congress is not assembled to waste time in useless words. Celebrities get a lot of attention; we need to give them a little less and think instead about the socialist task that needs to be carried out.

He welcomed the foreign delegates and thanked them for giving their comrades in France the proof of their sympathies. They feel that our country is one of the powerful agents of the socialist movement. And this is so true that the International fell the day the French socialist party fell. If it is reborn today, we owe it to the fertile blood of the martyrs of 1871.

As for the workers' Party, it has always been fraternal and it cannot be surprised to meet with sympathy. It is not its fault that there are two Congresses. But in any case, since the split exists, let us not allow it to damage the socialist cause too much. Let each Congress, forgetting the other, act in the best interest of the proletariat. Let it work. The Party of work must give the example of useful labour.

Once a translation has been made into various languages, Citizen Joffrin reads:

— A congratulatory telegram from 1,500 workers in Bristol (England), who wish for the international unity of workers;

— A telegram from the "Club of Socialist Democrats assembled to celebrate the fall of the Bastille who —24—send their fraternal greetings to the two Workers' Congresses";

— A telegram from the Circle of Social Studies of Rome, celebrating the fall of the Bastille, which greets the International Socialist Congresses, and wishes for the reestablishment of the International Workingmen's Association.

The French chairman then reads motions from the groups from Butte-Montmartre and the Chambre Syndicale of the clog makers.

Citizen André-Gély announces to the delegates that, in the evening, a reception in their honour will be given at the Wagram room.

Citizen Fulgueroso, a Spanish delegate, reports a strike of the textile workers of Barcelona and requests the workers of France not to go into competition with their comrades in Spain.

Citizen Croce, an Italian delegate, says that the workers' Party of his country had wanted to be represented in the Congress. He hopes that this Congress will be followed by real action Congresses of the united workers. He tells of the efforts made by the Italian country people for the triumph of socialism. He describes workers coming to join this movement and ends by expressing the hope that this Congress will be the last where we talk without acting.

Citizen de Campos, a Portuguese delegate, expresses the wish that the workers' International should be reconstituted as soon as possible.

Citizen Nears, an English delegate from the Federation of Radical Clubs, expresses the friendly feelings of his comrades for our Congress.

Citizen Jensen, President of the Danish Chambres Syndicales, tells of a Copenhagen joiners' strike which left 3,000 workers unemployed. He describes the employers trying to deceive these workers to make them submit to their claims. They are asking for help from all workers, their brothers.

Citizen Dobosy, delegate of the Austro-Hungarian Socialists, —25—brings the fraternal greetings of the socialists of Vienna and Buda-Pesth. He has just received a telegram to this effect, from the federation of Chambres Syndicales in the latter city.

Citizen Herbert Burrows, delegate of a branch of the Social Democratic Federation, and of the Society of Women Cigar and Cigarette makers, moves that the mandates be verified. He asks, in addition, for the entire foreign delegation to join the English delegation in endorsing everything the French Workers' Party has done to organize the Congress and for revolutionary socialist action. He declares that the conquest of the public authorities is preparing the Social Revolution.

Citizen Joffrin, Chairman, asks the assembly to form its administrative committee.

Citizen Costa proposes that the National Committee fulfill this function.

Citizen Lavy explains what the role of this Committee will be: to receive resolutions, examine them, coordinate them, and publish them; to carry out all physical organization for the Congress; and finally, to settle financial questions. He insists that a delegate of each nationality should be attached to the National Committee for this task. He does not want to expose this Committee to any suspicion, even if unjustified.

Citizen Gelez asks for the prior verification of the mandates.

Citizen Burns also proposes that the verification of the mandates take place immediately, so that each nationality can designate a delegate for the administrative committee.

Citizen Lavy explains that the examination of the French mandates will be very long. He moves that the meeting be adjourned and that the various delegations meet immediately to verify the mandates.

This proposal is adopted and the session ends at half past five.


A welcoming reception for delegates to the congress by the parisian workers

The same evening, the Parisian workers' groups organizing the international Congress hosted a welcoming reception for delegates from the provinces and abroad.

The Wagram hall was chosen for this purpose.

From eight o'clock the crowd arrives and soon seven or eight hundred delegates to the Congress and representatives of Parisian corporations take their place around tables in the huge Etoile room.

The bureau is made up as follows: chairman, Hyndman, delegate for England; assessors, Andrea Costa, Italian deputy, and citizen Avez, delegate for Paris; secretary, Maupas, provincial delegate.

Citizen André-Gély, on behalf of the Bourse du Travail, welcomes the delegates and thanks the City Council for its liberality which allows Parisian workers to give a dignified reception to workers from all over the world. He recommends that the provincial delegates hunt down the hornets which raid the social hive and preserve the Republic; and that the foreign delegates oppose the coalition of kings with a coalition of the peoples to achieve emancipation of the workers in the Universal Republic. (Prolonged applause.)

His speech was immediately translated into English by citizen A.S. Headingley.

Next Citizen Joffrin rises. On behalf of the City Council —27—— he can almost say in the name of the majority of this Council — he wishes a warm welcome to these rugged workers who have come from everywhere, and who will take even more vivid ideas of emancipation and of the Republic back to their country or province.

The princes turn their noses up at the Exhibition;[Translator's notes 17] in contrast, here are the peoples gathered in Paris. Paris prefers them; may they come within its walls to show solidarity and shake hands.

They will say that France only wants peace, an honourable peace with the outside world and a republic inside its borders, because the lion of the people, after a moment of weakness, will know how to crush this ridiculous baker,[Translator's notes 18] who is offering our freedoms for auction to the highest bidder, between its powerful jaws. But we will establish the universal republic through labour.

Citizen Joffrin's speech is literally punctuated with applause, and it ends amid the enthusiasm of all, foreigners and nationals shouting: Vive la Sociale![Translator's notes 19] Down with Boulanger!

Citizens Bowen, delegate of the Knights of Labor, followed by Andrea Costa and Croce, Italian delegates, give loudly applauded speeches in turn.

The choir of the carvers' Chambre Syndicale brought out the brilliance of this very intimate party, with a sprinkling of good wines and enlivened by the most perfect harmony and the broadest cordiality.

2nd Session[edit source]

Held on the 16th of July, in the morning

Citizens Defnet, Belgian delegate, and J.-B. Clément, délegate for the Ardennes, are elected as chairmen. The assessors are citizens Fulgueroso, Spanish delegate, and Limousin, délegate for Châtellerault. The Secretary, Lavy.

—28—It has been decided that the Bureau will only be elected for one session.

Citizens Defnet and J.-B Clément thank Congrèss for the honour done to them; Congress then procedes to the validàtion of the mandates of each delegate, mandates which have already been examined by the special Committees nominated the day before.[Translator's notes 20]

Since each nation has carried out that validation, there follow the names of the groups and delegates accepted:[Translator's notes 21]

British Isles

Various societies

I. — Club socialiste de Dublin : A. Coulon.[Translator's notes 22]

II. — Société des Fabiens : Williams Clarke.

III. — Fédération radicale de la métropole de Londres : J.-D. Nicass, Mme. Besant, déléguée suppléante.

IV. — Labor Union, Hoxton division : A. K. Donald.[Translator's notes 23]

V. — Knights of Labor : Chafman.[Translator's notes 24]

Social democratic federation

I. — Conseil général de la Fédération sociale démocratique de Londres : H. M. Hyndman.

ÎI. — Branch de Southwark et Lambeth : J. Hunter Watts.

III. — Branch de Kissington : George-Henry Young.

IV. — St-Pancras Branch : Thomas Walker.

V. — Battersea Branch : Harry Banyon Rogers.

VI. — Somers Town Branch : Sébastien Kuypers.

VII. — Tottenham Branch and Wood Green : Williams Snow.

VIII. — Clerkenarth Branch : Herbert Burrows.

IX. — Glasgow Branch : John Warrilord.

X. — Edinburg Branch : J. Darma Christie.

XI. — Blackburn Branch : Williams West.

XI. — Birmingham Branch : P. Tanner.

XIII. — Bermondsey Branch : Samuel Oliver.

XIV. — Chelsea Branch : Walter Geard.

XV. — Ichnington Branch : H.-W. Hobort.


Trades unions

I. — Conseil général de la Société des mécaniciens : Thomas, Henry Eveleigh.

II. — Mécaniciens de Birmingham : John Burns, Louis Willncor.[Translator's notes 25]

III. — Fédération des corps de métiers des provinces centrales (Birmingham) : B. Juggins.

IV. — Société internationale des verreries en bouteilles (Branch central) : Robert Hunter.

V. — Société des typographes de Londres : A.-G. Cook et J.-H. Flanedy.

VI. — Union des femmes fabricantes d’allumettes chimiques : Mmme. Annie Besant.

VII. — Fédération des métiers de Carlisle : T. Noul.

VIII. — Société des verriers en bouteilles d'Islande : J. Ogornan.

IX. — Ligue pour la création de Chambres syndicales de femmes ouvrières : À. S. Headingley.

X. — Fédération des Chambres syndicales des femmes ouvrières de Londres : miss Edith Simcox.

XI. — Fédération des Chambres syndicales de Londres : W. Parnell, B. Cooper.[Translator's notes 26]

XII. — Trades-Unions des mineurs de Northumberland : Burt, Esq. M.P., Fenwick, Esq. M.P.[Translator's notes 27]

XII. — Leicester Trades Counncil : James Holmes.

XIV. — Alliance des ébénistes : H. Han.

XV. — Charpentiers et menuisiers de Londres : Georges Deav.


Travailleurs de Transylvanie, Cercle social démocratique de Hermanstadt, de Khausembourg, Fermorac, Geyerla, Bèkés, Fédération de Budapesth, Cercles d'études sociales et Fédération de Croatie, Slavonie, Dalmatie-Ville, de Trieste et Fiume, Porcelainiers de Väroslod, Union des travailleurs de Zaila, Somogy et Tast-Comitat, Groupe socialiste démotique électoral de Fapzolaza, Sumegy, Vesz preim Papsa et Stuthsemburg : 7 delegates whose names have not been published to avoid any persecution on the part of the government of their country.


Union des boulangers de Vienne.

Fédération de la Haute-Autriche et Salzbourg.

Fédération des travailleurs de Bohême, Moravie et Silésie.



I.— Parti ouvrier belge, conseil général : Gustave Defnet.

II. — Fédération des travailleurs socialistes liégeois, verviétois; Meuneries et boulangeries mécaniques; Syndicat des mineurs de Saint-Gilles; Association des mécaniciens de Liège; Conseil fédéral de la Vallée de la Vesdre : Téophile Blancvalet.

III. — Syndicat des mineurs; Fosse Abel La Hestre : Edouard Meunier.

IV. — Fédération bruxelloise (Parti ouvrier) : Laurent Werryken.

V. — Ligue ouvrière d'Ixelles : Emile Vandevelde.

VI. — Cercle de propagande socialiste de Bruxelles : Louis Walnier.

VII. — Les Prolétaires anversois : Auguste Wortelmann; Constant Goetschalk.


Chambre syndicale des mouleurs en fer de Copenhague : Charles Schauby.

Conseil des Chambres syndicales corporatives de Copenhague : J. Jensen.


Groupe des réfugiés socialistes révolutionnaires : Marino Polonski.


I. — Société des ouvriers mécaniciens de Barcelone et ses environs : Antonio Fernandez Fulgueroso.

II. — Société des ouvriers apprêteurs, fileurs et tisseurs, dite des trois classes de vapeur : Eudoaldo Xuriguera.

III. — Société des coiffeurs perruquiers de Barcelone : José Camps.

IV. — Société des ébénistes de Barcelone; Société des cylindreurs apprêteurs; Société des teinturiers apprêteurs : Baldomero Oller, A. F. Fulgueroso.

United States of America

I. — Knights of Labor, district de Colombie et Union internationale des typographes : Will. S. Waudby.


II. — Fédération des Chevaliers du travail : Paul J. Bowen.

II. — Deutschen Arbeites Werein Washington : M. Max Georgei; Union internationale des typographes : P.-F. Crowley.


Parti ouvrier socialiste de la Hollande : W. H. Wliegen,

J. À. Fortuijn.[Translator's notes 28]


I. — Comité central du Parti ouvrier italien : Croce, Guiseppe.

II. — Parti ouvrier socialiste révolutionnaire de Romagne : Alessandro Balducci, Germanio Piselli. Ferdinando Talducci.

III. — Cercle socialiste Emancipation et travail de Livourne : Cini Francesco, Eziv Joraboschi.

IV. — Parti socialiste révolutionnaire et Parti ouvrier de Romagne : Costa Andrea, député au Parlement italien.

V. — Ligue socialiste de Milan, consulat ouvrier de Ravenne : Costa Andrea.

VI. — Le journal le Soleil de l’Avenir de Ravenne, groupe socialiste révolutionnaire de Rome, parti ouvrier : Costa Andrea.

VII. — Reggio (Emilie), association Pensée ouvrière et action de Naples, association démocratique Pensée et action, Città di Castello : Costa Andrea.

VIII. — Parti socialiste révolutionnaire, Parti ouvrier de Romagne, Association internationale, Fédération de Ravenne, Vétérans et groupes socialistes de Mirandola, Cercle féminin Louise Michel de Ravenne, Comité anarchiste de Paterne, Fédération des associations populaires de Parme et province, Fédération universelle (section latine), Cercle international d’Alfonsino, Cercle anarchiste de Rimini et San Maximo, Cercle socialiste révolutionnaire des Enfants du Travail de Rimini : Amilcare Cipriani.


I. — Comité central de la « Mina », organisation des socialistes nationalistes polonais : Boleslas Limanowski.

II. — Rédaction de la Pobudka (la Diane) : Boleslas Limanowski.



I. — Société des ouvriers chapeliers en soie de Porto : Francisco Vitrevo de Campos.

II. — Association des ouvriers métallurgistes de Porto : F.-V. de Campos.

III. — Association coopérative des ouvriers de production de Porto (Tisseurs) : F.-V. de Campos.

IV. — Association des travailleurs de Porto : F.-V. de Campos.

V. — Parti ouvrier socialiste, Fédération du Sud : Manuel Luiz de Figueredo.

VI. — Association des ouvriers tisseurs, société de consommation (de Porto) : F.-V. de Campos.

VII. — Association des quatre classes de construction de Porto : F.-V. de Campos.

VIII. — Association des ouvriers des deux sexes en cigares de Porto : F.-V. de Campos.

IX. — Association des ouvriers en tabacs de Porto : F. V. de Campos.

X. — Association des classes de tisseurs et sociétés de résistance : F.-V. de Campos.

XI. — Parti ouvrier socialiste, conseil du Nord, Porto : F.-V. de Campos.

XII. — Société des chapeliers apprêteurs fouleurs, Porto : F.-V. de Campos.

XIII. — Association des ouvriers sabotiers de Porto : F.-V. de Campos.

XIV. — Association des ouvriers ébénistes de Porto : F.-V. de Campos.

XV. — Le journal et le groupe la «Voix de l'ouvrier» : André-Gély.

XVI. — Association du Parti ouvrier portugais : Manuel Luiz de Figueiredo.


I. - Société de l'Union des métiers de Carrouge : S. Paulard.

II. — Rédaction du «Précurseur» de Carrouge : S. Pauard.

III. — Association italienne l’Emancipation de Zurich : Molinari, Bertonci.




I. — Union fédérative de Poitiers : E. Oury.

II. — Chambre syndicale du Livre : E. Oury.

III. — Syndicat industriel des cotons de Rouen : Bertin.

IV. — Fédération métallurgiste de Saint-Étienne : Bertin.

V. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers lithographes; papetiers régleurs et parties similaires (Alger) : Machiéraldo.

VI. — Chambre syndicale des tailleurs de pierre (Mustapha) : Bourdet Pierre.

VII. — Chambre syndicale des plâtriers (Alger): Maupas Joseph.

VIII. — Chambre syndicale des cochers receveurs (Alger) : Dalle François.

IX. — Dhambre syndicale des ouvriers tisserands, de Cholet : J.-B. Dumay.

X. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers en moquette de Tourcoing : Mouzillard.

XI. — Fédération des Chambres syndicales de Constantine : Monthieu et Perret.

XII. — Fédération des cuisiniers d'Alger: Sigé et Soulery.

XI. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers sur métaux d'Alger : Frich et Louis Blanc.

XIV. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers diamantaires de Saint-Claude.

XV. — Syndicat des ouvriers coiffeurs réunis de Lyon (Officieux).

XVI. — Syndicat des ouvriers brodeurs de St-Quentin : Avez, Poutrat, Mineu.

XVII. — Syndicat des ouvriers mineurs de Bessèges : Pierre Brunet.

XVII. — Chambre syndicale de l’ameublement de Rennes : Thomas.

XIX. Chambre syndicale des ouvriers tailleurs d’Orléans : Ménager.

XX. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers menuisiers en bâtiments de Clermont-Ferrand : Chassagne.

XXI. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers mouleurs en fonte de Dijon : Josserand.


XXII. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers cordonniers d'Alger : Brocard, Tiercin.

XXIII. — Fédération algérienne des syndicats ouvriers, Gabriel Rogier.

XXIV. — Chambre syndicale Alliance générale des ouvriers tullistes et similaires de Calais: Ernest Legrand, Edouard Grisel.

XXV. — Chambre syndicale des maçons, plâtriers et cimenteurs (Constantine) : Saupique.

XXVI. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers maçons (Alger-Mustapha) : Pierre Clément.

XXVII. — Chambre syndicale des tailleurs d’habits (Dijon): Félix Beck.

XXVIII. — Syndicat des sabotiers, Angoulème (consultatif) : Pierre Chardon.

XXIX. — Chambre syndicale des corporations réunies (Saint-Nazaire) : François Jacobert.

XXX. — Chambre syndicale des ardoisiers de Fumay (Ardennes) : J.-B. Clément.

XXXI. — Chambre syndicale des diverses corporations (Cholet) : Louis Barteau.

XXXII. — Chambre syndicale des tisseurs et parties similaires de Grandris (Rhône) : Anthelme Simon.

XXXIII. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers bonnetiers (St-Maixent) : Dufour Louis.

XXXIV. — Syndicat des tisseurs et parties similaires. (Lyon) : À. Simond.

XXXV. — Bourse du Travail de Nîmes : Victorien Brugnier.

XXXVI. — Fédération des Chambres syndicales ouvrières de Nîmes.

XXXVII. — Chambre syndicale des tisseurs de St-Waast : Prévost Millet.

XXXVIII. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers mineurs de Carmeaux : J. B. Calvig.

XXXIX. — Chambre syndicale métallurgique de Nimes : Pons-Guiraudin.

XL. — Chambre syndicale des tailleurs d'habits de Nimes : Coulomb Martin.

XLI. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers tonneliers de Nîmes : Julian Joseph.

XLII. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers cordonniers de Nîmes : Denis Pierre.


XLIII. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers ébénistes de Nîmes : Gilbert, E. Lafont, Etienne.

XLIV. — Chambre syndicale des travailleurs de la vallée d’Avres : Klein.

XLV. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers armuriers de Saint-Etienne : Simonnet.

XLVI. — Chambre syndicale de la brosserie de Charleville : J.B. Clément.

XLVII. — Chambre syndicale de la Fédération typographique de Limoges : Moreau.

XLVIII. — Chambre syndicale de l’union des tisseurs et similaires de Lyon : À. Simond.



I. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers lapidaires diamantaires : Dadier, Viochot, Curt.

II. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers égoutiers : Ch. Leclerc, Philippe, Boschard.

III. — Chambre syndicale des billardiers : Laurent, Blot, Mottifat.

IV. — Société des ouvriers chapeliers : Laveyssière, Favreau.

V. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers mouleurs en fonte : Heldevert, Ledru, Cotteret.

VI. — Union des ouvriers mécaniciens : J.-B. Dumay, conseiller municipal de Paris ; J. Joffrin, vice-président du conseil municipal de Paris.

VII. — Chambre syndicale des boucheurs à l’émeri : A. Chomaz.

VIII. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers boulangers : Lenoir, Leynaud, Boulanger.

IX. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers peintres en bâtiments : Finance, Gérard, Wernet.

X. — Fédération lithographique française : Melotte, Muzillard, Guyon.

XI. — Fédération française des travailleurs du Livre : Decroix, Flogny.

XII. Chambre syndicale des papetiers-régleurs : Brenon, Emméêlé, Perriod.

XIII. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers galochiers : Picardet, Michelat, Roret.


XIV. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers charrons : Corneloup, Paris, Blondeau.

XV. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers treillageurs-rustiqueurs : Ch. Bourgeois, Cocqueray, Tourelle.

XVI. — Société d'appui mutuel de la sculpture : Baune, Delorme.

XVII. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers facteurs de pianos et orgues: E. Picau, Bessonnard, Berthaut.

XVIII. — Groupe corporatif de la fonierie de cuivre : Devlaamick, Gallas, Robillard.

XIX. — Société de solidarité des relieurs doreurs : Delacour, Gontier, Regnier.

XX. — Solidarité, groupe fraternel des ouvriers coiffeurs : Ad. Lenormand.

XXI. - Union syndicale des ouvriers menuisiers: F. Brunet, Levasseur, Mercier.

XXII. — Chambre syndicale, des ouvriers tourneurs en optique : Blard, Durand, Renaud.

XXIII. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers tourneurs-repousseurs : Marlier, Zell, Piens.

XXIV. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers brossiers : Bourel, Lagouelte, Letort.

XXV. — Syndicat des ouvriers souffleurs de verres au chalumeau : A. Grisel, A. Schmidt.

XXVI. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers blanchisseurs : Chaffaud, Marais, Ch. Colomb.

XXVII. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers-layetiers-emballeurs ; Blachard, M. Mame, Duponchelle.

XXVIII. — Syndicat des ouvriers cordonniers en talons Louis XV : Boutaire, Daubanay, Fernantes.

XXIX. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers parqueteurs : Barnier, E. Molas, Priou.

XXX. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers selliers, articles de chasse : F. Nanquette, Hanel, Bérenger.

XXXI. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers en voitures : Dubois, Bérenger, Ollat.

XXXII. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers dessinateurs-chrômistes : Charlot, Grandjean, Patte.

XXXIII. — Fédération sociale des ouvriers charpentiers : Audejean, Lafarge, Lefort.

XXXIV. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers dessinateurs: Herbinet, Berchy, Asanas.

XXXV. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers corroyeurs : Lucas, Mary, E. Baron.


XXXVI. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers balayeurs-balayeuses : Avard, Moine, Gauthier.

XXXVII. — Chämbre syndicale des coupeurs-chemisiers, faux-cols, lingerie et parties similaires : Meleng, Pezron, Farcey.

XXXVIII. — Chambre syndicale des scieurs-découpeurs et mouluriers : Khaiser, Quarantelivres.

XXXIX. — Syndicat de la Fédération française des voyageurs de commerce : P. Pain, E. Lange, B. Lefèvre.

XL. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers du Bronze : P. Loyer, L. Negro, L. Tabert.

XLI. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers fondeurs en cuivre : Velter, Pradal, Harlay.

XLII. — Chambre syndicale des jardiniers : P. Bertrand, E. Archenauld, H. Guérin.

XLIII.— Chambre syndicale des ouvriers fondeurs en cuivre : Bardin, Constantin, Lalo.

XLIV. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers mécaniciens, outils à découper : Perrin, Fayard, Bertheau.

XLV; — Chambre syndicale des cochers (Seine) : Dulucq, Carrel, Caimels.

XLVI. — Chambre syndicale des tourneurs-robinetiers : R. Balliet, Lemaire, Catherine.

XLVII. — Syndicat des ouvriers en instruments de musique, cuivres et bois : Rombrot, Monseu, Boucher.

XLVIII. — Chambre syndicale de l’Ebénisterie et du meuble sculpté : Suzan, Flamant.

XLIX. — Union syndicale corporative des mouluriers en plâtre français : Lapirot, Dumax, Carlier.

L. — Chambre syndicale des porteurs aux Halles et Marchés : Eug. Adam, J. Jouannaux, E. Liador.

LI. — Chambre syndicale des passementiers à la main : Chambarasky, Hochard, M. Ruh.

LII. — Fédération ouvrière de la gravure : Chardeaux, Bert, Didelot.

LIII. — Chambre syndicale des coupeurs-brocheurs en chaussures : Mantenon, Ch. Patry, Henry Guilloux.

LIV. — Chambre syndicale des comptables : Bonhomme, Doré, Villa.

LV. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers en voitures : Michel, Gorin, Mousques.

LVI. — Chambre syndicale ouvrière, bijouterie, imitation, pour deuil, acier et petit bronze : Devuassous, Delille, Gaillard.


LVII. — Chambre syndicale des numéroteurs et folioteurs: Ailliaud, E. Gilliard, J. Convert.

LVIII. — Syndicat des ouvriers socialistes tailleurs, scieurs de pierre et maçons : V. Renou, Carmignac, Soyer.

LIX. — Chambre syndicale professionnelle des fondeurs typographes : F. Bouché, L. Thuilot, E. Loret.

LX. — Union des peintres en bâtiments : Balin, Dugué, Blanquet.

LXI. — Union fédérale des ouvriers tonneliers : Bourderon, L. Graillat, Bonnerue.

LXII.— Chambre syndicale des malletiers: Archer, E. Frey, Klinclauss.

LXIII. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers plombiers, couvreurs, zingueurs : Leblanc, Rosé, Nicolas.

LXIV. — Chambre syndicale professionnelle des ouvriers passementiers à la barre : Foyard.

LXV. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers forgerons-mécaniciens frappeurs : Dougnaux, Dupart, Fyot.

LXVI. — Fédération ouvrière de la cordonnerie de la Seine : Laboumet, Dubuse, Catiepolt.

LXVII. — Chambre sy ndicale des ouvriers serruriers en bâtiment : Larcher, Pelluet.

LXVII. — Chambre syndicale dela bijouterie, or et joaillerie : Candelier, Barbar, Ballat.

LXIX. — Chambre syndicale des portefeuillistes-maroquiniers : Gilles, Degoulet.

LXX. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers chaudronniers en fer : André Dubois, Charpentier, Billaud.

LXXI. — Chambre syndicale des employés : Haupais, Courtoux, Borsary.

LXXII.— Chambre syndicale des mouleurs en plâtre, statuaires, ornemanistes : V. Dufailly.

LXXIII. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers ferblantiers : Levrier, Domenghetti, Gattilher.

LXXIV. — Société corporative des ouvriers puisatiers-mineurs : Fouet père, Flavien Roblet, J. Martelet.

LXXV. — Groupe corporatif des peintres en bâtiment, «la Soupe aux Choux» : Gallet, Gobé, Franck.

LXXVI. — Chambre syndicale ouvrière des cuisiniers de Paris : J. Barafort, F. Chopin, Bienfait.

LXXVII. — Chambre syndicale ouvrière de l'Industrie florale : Abriol, Bourdet, Carré.

LXXVIII. — Chambre syndicale des teinturiers-dégraisseurs : Ribaut, Fallier, Verdelet,


LXXIX. — Syndicat des membres de l'enseignement : citoyenne Avez.

LXXX. — Chambre syndicale de la vannerie : Alebert, Graux.

LXXXI. — Chambre syndicale typographique parisienne : Hamelin, Morin.

LXXXI. — Chambre syndicale de la gravure : St-Brice fils, P. Leblanc, Gustave Boussenot.

LXXXII. — Chambre syndicale des forgerons-serruriers : Hardouin-Fillol, Mousquier.

LXXXIV. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers maréchaux : Legardeur.

LXXXV. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers menuisiers en bâtiments : Tortelier, Montant.

LXXXVI. — Chambre syndicale des menuisiers en voitures : Durand Martin, Spiedt.

LXXXVII. — Chambre syndicale des conducteurs mécaniciens : Toutefer, Duboncourt, Peckstadt.

LXXXVIII. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers en voiture : Trémolet, Bervie, Lizé.

LXXXIX. — Chambre syndicale des ouvriers terrassiers : Velletaro, Besquent, Jougi.

XC. — Groupe corporatif des ouvriers tonneliers : Renier, Delattre, Petit-Bon.

XCI. — Chambre syndicale des stéréotypeurs galvanoplastes : A. Betou, A. Babillon, E. Darty.

Suburbs and Departments

Circles for Political, Social, and Professional studies

I. — Groupe d'études Saint-Maur-les-Fossés : Dambert, Leroux, Varenne.

II. — Groupe d’études de Levallois-Perret : Pacotte, Meunier, Tolard.

III. — Cercle d’études de Montreuil-Vincennes : Fichter, Malandain, Bovay.

IV. — Groupe d’études de Charenton-Saint-Maurice : Remy, Despardin, Bauer.

V. — Groupe d’études de Courbevoie : Auguin, Deschamps, Denain.

VI. — Groupe de Versailles : G. Lucas, Hébert, M. Lucas.

VII. — Groupe d'études de Boulogne-sur-Seine.


VIII. — Groupe d’études de Saint-Ouen : Philippe, Lefebvre, Veckringer.

IX. — Libre-Pensée de Montreuil-sous-Bois : Opins, Carpentier.

X. — Cercle d’études de Rennes.

XI. — Groupe ouvrier de Saint-Quentin : D'Herbecourt, conseiller prud'homme.

XII. — Groupe ouvrier orléanais : G. Fournier, Roland.

XIII. — Groupe ouvrier dijonnais : J. Maujonnet, A: Josserard.

XIV. — Equitables franco-algériens : Mogenier.

XV. — Solidarité de Châtellerault : Guillemot, E. Limousin, Krebs.

XVI. — Groupe d’études, les Egaux, Angoulême : Aupetit, Navarre, Authier.

XVII. — Comité fédéral d'Alger : Léon Saupique.

XVIII. — Cercle de Puteaux : Navarre, Poulain, Matocq.

XIX. — Cercle d’études de Cholet : Louis Barteau.

XX. — Comité de Saint-Denis : Touroude, Pontoise,

XXI. — Groupe d’études de Nevers : A. Lavy.

XXII. — Groupe d’Alfortville : Fort (Philippe), Aubry, Muller.

XXIII. — Le Travail de Poitiers : Limousin (Georges).

XXIV. — «La Sentinelle de Tours» : Levrel, Rétif.

XXV. — Conseil général des Intérêts de Tours : Dufour, Fautras.

XXVI. — Union des travailleurs de Constantine : Monthieu.

XXVII. — Cercle des travailleurs de Constantine : Perret (Henry).

XXVIII. — Cercle l’Etincelle de Charleville : J.-B. Clément.

XXIX. — Fédération des Ardennes : J.-B. Clément.

XXX. — Groupe de Nimes : André-Gély.


Circles for Political, Social, and Professional studies

I. — Cercle du 1e arrondissement : Petit (Louis).

II. — Cercle du 2e arrondissement : Douillé, Andric, Goullardon.

III. — Cercle du 3e arrondissement : Muller, Renaud, Canivet.

IV. — Cercle du 4e arrondissement : Lalaud, Muhaut, Coudray.

V. — Cercle du 5e arrondissement : Martinet, Triollet, Gente.

VI. — Cercle du 6e arrondissement : Aveline, Galiment, Toussaint.

VII. — Cercle du 7e arrondissement : Lebas, Deniselle, Lelorrain.

VIII. — Cercle du 9e arrondissement : Bourgoin, Stassart, Dandreux.

IX. — Cercle du 10e arrondissement (1e section) : Le grand, Lavaud, Brichard.

X. — Cercle du 10e arrondissement (2e section) : Schmitt, Boisdin, Coin.

XI. — Cercle du 11e arrondissement (1e section) : Vincent, Gelez, J. Weber.

XII. — Cércle du 11e arrondissement (2e section) : Lamothe, Chausse, Pot-de-Fer.

XIII. — Cercle du 12e arrondissement: Léon Mark, Caumeau, Boudot.

XIV. — Cercle du 13e arrondissement : Adam, Richard, Ochart.

XV. — Cercle de Plaisance : Labour, Gorondon, Périn père.

XVI. — Fédération des travailleurs socialistes du 15e arrondissement : Chancelet, Mascaux, Thomas.

XVII. — Groupe Kléber, 16e arrondissement : Dramour, Peronnet, Fieyre.

XVIII. — Cercle des Epinettes, 17e: arrondissement : Ch. André, Brunet, P. Brousse, conseiller municipal.

XIX. — Cercle des Ternes, 17e arrondissement : Charon, Tripier, Gris.

XX. — Cercle des Batignolles, 17e arrondissement: Lannecruse, Meugin, Marot.

XXI. — Cercle de La Chapélle, 18e arrondissement : Ragot, Gardé, Blondeau.

XXII. — Cercle des Grandes-Carrières, 18e arrondissement: Robert, Gervois, Brennier.

XXIII. — Groupe du Nord, 18e arrondissement : Doumeng, Pontoise, Bonnet.

XXIV. — Cercle de Clignahcourt, 18e arrondissement : Dubois, Perrin, Hirtz,


XXV. — Cercle de la Butte-Montmartre, 18e arrondissement : J.-B. Nic, Auffret, Thorin.

XXVI. — Cercle du Combat, 19e arrondissement : Lebigre, Denéchaud, Prudent-Dervillers.

XXVII. — Cercle du Pont-de-Flandre et Villette : Mauray, Dechaume, Perrin.

XXVIII. — Groupe de la sellerie militaire : Simon, Chaillet, Mathieu.

XXIX. — Cercle du 20e arrondissement: Vauthier, Jacob, Poulain.

XXX. — Comité du sou de la candidature du 20e arrondissement : Oury, Huprel, Riquier.

XXXI. — Cercle de Saint-Fargeau : Juliot, Réties, conseiller municipal, Michaux fils.

XXXII. — Cercle dé Belleville : Pauthier, Jacob, Poulain.

XXXIII. — Cercle du Père-Lachaise, 20e arrondissement : Ballet.

XXXIV. — Cercle des ouvriers mécaniciens du 18e arrondissement: Kirche, Simon, À. Fontaine.

XXXV. — Libre-pensée du 18e arrondissement : Dutertre, Girodier, Jardin.

XXXVI. — Cercle des employés : Augé, Dalle, André-Gély.

XXXVII. — Cercle des socialistes ardennais: Jeunhomme, Grégoire, Landoy.

XXXVIII. — Le «Suffrage des femmes» : citoyenne Astié de Valsayre.

XXXIX. — Cercle des prolétaires positivistes : A. Keufer, S. Domingue, E. Bodin.

XL. — Originaires de Saône-et-Loire : Chartron, Dubois, Portrat.

XLI. — Cercle typographique : J. Allemane, P. Sautner.

XLII. — Société de résistance des lithographes : Taquette, Draveny, Barez.

XLIII. — Comité de vigilance. des conseillers ouvriers prud'hommes : Champy, À. Philippe.

XLIV. — Groupe le «Droit des femmes» : citoyenne A. Vincent.

XLV. — Cercle de la Goutte-d'Or : P. Raulin, Mercier, Vergnaud.

XLVI. — Le Réveil, des Lilas : Kugler.

XLVII. — Cercle de Charonne : Crépet, Coupard, Saudemon


XLVIII. — Cercle du Point-du-Jour-Auteuil : Tournier, Flachon.

The list of delegates and groups above can be summarized as follows:

Belgium — 8 delegates representing 13 chambres syndicales, plus 50 leagues and groups, composed of around 204,000 members.

Spain — 5 delegates representing around 25,000 members.

Portugal — 3 delegates for 13 associations and 25,000 workers.

Denmark. — 2 delegates, sent by 70 chambres syndicales and diverse groups, around 20,000 members.

Poland — 1 delegate for several groups of workers and students.

Italy — 12 delegates.

Holland — 45 groups, diverse associations and 73 chambres syndicales have delegated 2 members representing 5,000 workers.

United States — 4 delegates for 200,000 members.

England — 39 delegates representing 214,643 members.

Austria-Hungary — 6 delegates representing 89 associations and 35 towns.

For France, citizen Lenormand presents the report of the verification commission.

For Paris and the Seine, 92 federations and workers' Chambres syndicales are represented by 252 delegates; for the provinces, 52 delegates have been sent by 46 chambres syndicales and diverse groups.

After a discussion of some contested mandates, they are taken as valid as a whole, with the exception of a mixed group of owners and workers.

Citizen J.-B. Clément, chairman, explains the development of the workers' party in the Ardennes, which is represented by a delegation of —44—10 chambres syndicales, 8 social studies circles, and 9 to 10 thousand members.

Next citizen Caumeau, rapporteur for the mandates of the social studies circles, announces that 74 groups, comprising 50 from Paris and 24 from the provinces, are represented by 220 delegates. All these mandates are valid.

Validation of the mandates being complete, citizen Defnet, Belgian chairman, reads out a letter in the name of the workers' party of Belgium calling for the merger of the two international congresses taking place at the same time. He proposes, among other things, that the next international socialist congress should take place in Belgium, a neutral country.

After some approving comments made by the Italian and Danish delegations, the continuation of the discussion is put back to the next session.

The English delegates say that they would like to lay flowers on the tomb of the heroic martyrs of 1871, at the Communards' wall.

In agreement with the Belgian delegates, it is decided that this demonstration will take place the same day.

The session is suspended at twelve thirty.

3rd Session[edit source]

Held on the 16th July, in the evening

Appointed as chairmen: Citizen Paulard, municipal councillor of Paris, for France; Citizen Camps, Spanish delegate, for abroad.

Citizens Jensen, Danish delegate, and Champy are selected as assessors, citizens Galiment and Bruguier as secretaries.

Before reading the previous minutes, —45—Citizen Lavy announces that a party will be given next Saturday, at the Hôtel-de-Ville, in honour of the two Congresses.

New very important messages of support reach the Congress.

Citizen Nic regrets that the secretary did not include in the minutes the resolution tabled by the Butte-Montmartre group concerning the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille.

Citizen Lavy replies that it is not practical to insert resolutions in full in the minutes. It suffices to note their intention.

On behalf of the English delegation, Citizen John Burns moves the adoption of the minutes. The minutes are adopted.

Citizen Lavy reads the minutes of the Tuesday morning session.

These minutes are adopted after a correction by Citizen Lenormand, who notes the presence at the Congress of 46 provincial trade unions, represented by 52 delegates.

Citizen Lavy reminds the members of the National Committee that, as part of the administrative committee, they have a duty to attend the meetings of this committee during the day if they can. He also asks the unions and the French groups to announce the number of their members.

On a motion by Citizen Blondeau, Citizens Caumeau and Lenormand, rapporteurs of the two credentials committees, are made responsible for receiving this information.

Citizen Costa translates a letter of support for the Congress from the dyers of Barcelona.

Citizen John Burns proposes that, in order to avoid wasting time, we should simply give notice of messages of support without reading the letters.

—46—Citizen Lavy informs Congress that the mandate for the delegates of the Union of the Lyon weavers had arrived.

A delegate from the American Federation of Labor reads an address from that federation.

After an observation by Citizen Denéchaud who points out that that citizen is not a delegate to Congress, he leaves the stage.

The next item on the agenda is the discussion of the proposal of the Belgian Workers' Party, relating to the merger of the two Congresses.

First a delegate from Austria-Hungary says that the verification of credentials for his nationality has been completed. One delegate has withdrawn. Another delegate, Citizen Schaubert, from Transylvania, was recalled to his country owing to a family bereavement. There remain 6 delegates representing 64 chambres syndicales, 25 groups and 35 towns.

Citizen Paulard, on behalf of the Congress, assures Citizen Schaubert of his regrets for his bereavement.

Citizen Lavy restates the Belgian Workers' Party's proposal on the merger of the Congresses.

Citizen J.-B. Clément, on behalf of a number of delegates, tables the following proposal:

Considering that the unity of revolutionary socialists and the merger of the two International Workers' Congresses conform to the feelings of the French and foreign delegates gathered in rue de Lancry at the International Congress organized by the Federation of Socialist Workers of France;

Considering further that the organizing committee of this Congress has appealed to all French and foreign socialist workers' groups without distinction of tendency and that it would have been happy if its appeal had been answered;

That the doors of this Congress have been and are open wide to all people of goodwill, of all understandings, whoever they follow;

That, therefore, there is no longer any need to discuss the issue of union or merger;

—47—We ask that the discussion should therefore only be of the foundations to be determined with a view to the union and the merger of the two Congresses.

Citizen Cipriani, on behalf of Italy, calls for the unity of socialists to fight against the bourgeoisie.

A motion for reconciliation, submitted to the Marxist Congress by citizen Domela Nieuwenhuis, Dutch delegate, has been rejected; another, by Citizen Liebknecht, German delegate, has been voted for.

Here are these two motions:

Domela Nieuwenhuis' motion

Congress, noting with regret that all efforts to unite into a single Congress have been unsuccessful,

Considering that the agenda of both Congresses is almost exactly the same,

Considering that the unification of the workers of the whole world is the duty of all,

Declares that this Congress is ready to merge with the other and demands that the mandates of the two Congresses should not be challenged by either side; decides that this resolution will be communicated to the other Congress and that as soon as it accepts an equivalent resolution, the present Congress will appoint a committee to come to an agreement with the committee of the other Congress.

Liebknecht motion:

This Congress recognizes that the members of the Conference and of the Parisian organizing committee have demonstrated their sincere desire to bring about an understanding of all socialist parties and workers' organizations regarding the International Congress and regrets that the steps taken to towards understanding and unity have not succeeded;

But considering that the unity of the proletariat is the indispensable condition for the emancipation of the proletariat and that consequently it is the duty of every democratic socialist not to neglect any attempt which might help to eliminate discord, Congress declares that it is still ready to come to an understanding and to unity provided that the groups of the other Congress reach a similar conclusion which all members of this Congress can accept.

—48—Citizens Blondeau, delegate of the wheelwrights, and Aveline, delegate of the Federation of the 6th arrondissement of Paris, submit the following proposal:

Congress accepts the merger under the following conditions:

1. Verification of mandates by a joint committee of the two Congresses;

2. No proposal other than those on the agendas of the two Congresses can be discussed.

Citizen Gelez also table the following proposal:

Having regard to the proposals for unity made in each Congress by the foreign delegations;


Declares that it is fully convinced that the triumph of the principles of social equality imperiously demands the international unity of all bodies of socialist workers;

But, considering that on both sides we find ourselves in the presence of delegates with particular mandates which they must obey; and, further considering the material difficulties and the delays that would result from immediately merging the two Congresses together into one;

We propose:

1. That each Congress discuss its agenda separately;

2. That for similar questions put to both Congresses, each of them appoints a separate general committee for resolutions, composed of 15 members;

3. As soon as the discussion on these identical questions has ended, in each Congress, the two general committees for resolutions meet to formulate a single report on each identical paragraph;

4. The vote on these three reports will take place in a plenary conference held (in a new hall) and in which all the delegations to the two International Socialist Congresses of 1889 will be assembled;

5. This plenary conference will also rule on the delegation's proposal for the next International Congress, for which it will set the agenda;

—49—6. The organizing committees of the two Congresses will have to agree on the holding of this conference, which will take place immediately the Congress has ended.

The Danish delegate calls for workers' unity. This citizen recognizes that the Workers' Party (the Federation of Socialist Workers of France), received the mandate to organize the Congress of 1889 from the International Congresses of Paris and London.

The delegate of Austria-Hungary says there is no use discussing the merger issue any further. We would waste precious time. However, a plenary meeting of the two Congresses, for voting on the resolutions, could take place.

Citizen John Burns says he has friends in both Congresses. The French must set aside the topics of disagreement as did the English delegates of the Trades Unions and the Social Democratic Federation. In each Congress, delegates of each nationality could come to an agreement to make a start on negotiations for the merger.

Citizen Besant, an English delegate, says that the Possibilist Congress is open to everyone. She observes that there are English people in the Marxist Congress who have delegated themselves. Congresses are socialist parliaments where there should only be delegates of the workers.

Citizen Parnell, delegate of the London Trades Council, adds that in order to carry out the merger, the delegates should have their mandates verified. We cannot accept fictitious mandates.

Citizen Vliegen, Dutch delegate, says that the verification of mandates is a question of principle. The Congresses must merge in order to more easily achieve the emancipation of the proletarians of all countries.

Citizen Viterbo de Campos, delegate of Portugal, is of the opinion that the merger is impossible, because the Portuguese delegates —59—in the Marxist Congress do not represent the workers. He asks that this fact be made known to the public.[Translator's notes 29]

Citizen Costa says that the Italian delegates have been instructed to attend both Congresses and to iron out the difficulties in effecting the merger. He adds that the verification of mandates is a simple formality that can be dispensed with.

Citizen Lavy, member of the National Committee of the French workers' party, replies that this Party had made all possible concessions. It leaves the responsibility for dividing the proletariat to others. Celebrities do not have the right to put themselves above the general will. The French workers' party received the mandate from the International Congresses in Paris and London to organize the Congress of 1889. It fulfilled its duty. If the dissidents want to come over to us, they must accept the common rule by submitting their mandates for validation.

We want to achieve union between the workers of the various countries. May each nation retain its autonomy, and by this means the revolutionary forces, bound together as one, will triumph.

An end to the debate being requested, it was put to the vote and agreed.

The principle of fusion is accepted, but the delegates of the Marxist Congress will have to have their mandate validated by nationality in the combined Congress.

Votes in favor: England, Austria-Hungary, Denmark, Spain, France, Portugal, Switzerland.

Votes against: America, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Poland.[Translator's notes 30]

The session ended at twenty past midnight.

4th Session[edit source]

Held on the 17th of July, in the morning.

The session begins at quarter to ten.

The following are appointed chairmen:

For the foreign delegations, Citizen Bowen, American, delegate of a group of the Knights of Labor.

For France, citizen J. Allemane, delegate of the Typographic Circle.

Assessors: Citizen Campos, Portuguese delegate; Citizen Renier, delegate of the Paris coopers.

The secretary, Citizen Lavy, reads out a dispatch from the central committee of the workers of Geneva Committee which "sends the expression of its deep solidarity to the delegates of the worldwide socialist Proletariat, and hopes for union with the neighbouring Congress, Salle Pétrelle. Signed: Jacob."

Citizen André Gély, on behalf of the Commission of the Labour Exchange, informs the provincial and foreign delegates that excursions have been organized for them, and invites them to turn up each day at 11:30 a.m. at the Labour Exchange, if they wish to take part. The excursions for July 17th are to the Menier and Decauville factories.[Translator's notes 31]

Citizen Ch. André, delegate from Epinettes, reminds Congress that it had been agreed that those citizens with free time would today accompany foreign delegates to the Communards' wall, in the Père-Lachaise cemetery.

Citizen Eveleigh, English delegate, and Citizen Burrows ask as a point of order that the closing time of the sessions be fixed exactly. Midday is unanimously accepted.

The President consults Congress to decide whether a delegate —52—from each of the nationalities represented will give or read out a report on the moral and material situation of the workers in their country.

Citizens Georgi, an American delegate, and S. Headingley, an English delegate, finding that a great deal of time has already been lost, propose that the written reports on this question be placed in the Congress archives without being read, and that Congress enter immediately into consideration of the questions on the agenda.

On the question of whether the reports will be read in session, the vote by nationality gives the following results:

For: Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Poland, France.

Against: America, England, Holland.

Abstentions: Italy, Portugal.

As a result, by 5 votes for, 3 against, and 2 abstentions, it was decided that a report on the situation of the workers would be given or read out by each nationality.

The English delegates ask that each report not exceed ten minutes. Adopted.

The Americans and English delegates say they will not present a report.

Citizen Costa, an Italian delegate, asks for the exact result of the vote of the previous evening's session, and the means that Congress intends to use to communicate this decision to the other Congress.

Citizen Allemane, one of the chairmen, thinks that the Italian delegation should be responsible for delivering the response, since it has acted as the intermediary between the two Congresses.

Citizen Fenwick proposes that it be the organizing Committee of the Congress that should deliver the result of yesterday's vote.

Citizen Delacoste supports this proposal.

Citizen Philippe supports the proposal presented by Citizen Allemane.

The Allemane proposal is adopted by a large majority.

—53—Citizen Lavy, secretary of the Congress, reads the following note, addressed to the dissident Congress:

To the International Congress gathered in Salle Pétrelle.


In the name of the international workers' Congress assembled at 10, rue Lancry, by virtue of the decisions of the International Congresses in Paris and London, we communicate to you the motion which was voted for yesterday evening by this Congress:

"The Congress declares that it accepts a merger, on condition that the verification of the mandates by each nationality takes place in the unified Congress.

It remains understood that the delegates whose mandate is contested will be able to appeal to the Congress, which will decide in the last resort.

The Italian delegation is responsible for delivering this communication.

The Congress bureau,

A. LAVY, secretary. J. ALLEMANE, President."

Votes for: England, Spain, Portugal, Austria-Hungary, Denmark, Poland, Switzerland, France.

Votes against: America, Belgium, Holland, Italy.

That is: 8 for and 4 against.[Translator's notes 32]

Citizen Defnet, a Belgian delegate, then read his report on the moral and material situation of Belgian workers.

He notes that the workers are completely excluded from public affairs. The Constitution of 1830, while proclaiming citizens equal before the law, grants the right to vote only to those who can pay 42 francs in direct taxes. As a result, only 2% of voters participate, indirectly, in making the laws, which can therefore be seen as made by the rich against the poor.

Thus the struggle is being waged obstinately to win universal suffrage.

—54—In this "capitalist paradise" there is no legislation protecting the workers, who are competed against by convents and prisons.

The economic crisis has reached such a degree of intensity that in ten years wages have fallen by at least 10% and in several industries by 30 to 40%.

The numerous and deadly strikes which broke out in the coal basins, rarely, alas! crowned with success for lack of sufficient organization, had not only caused by or aiming at an increase in wages or the reduction of working hours, but also the defense of the right to association threatened by the employers.

After an in-depth examination of the terrible economic situation the workers, women and children (who receive only starvation wages) have been reduced to, the rapporteur concludes that the Belgian Workers' Party is convinced that the discussion in this Congress between all workers, will lead to new ideas for the rapid realization of the complete and radical emancipation of the proletariat.

Citizen Jensen then reads the report of the Danish workers.

After an historical account of the industrial and agricultural situation, he recalls that the socialist movement only started in Copenhagen in 1871, and that the government tried to brutally hold this movement down.

However, it has developed over the last seven years: 70 chambres syndicales organized in 7 federations with 20,000 members in Copenhagen and 5,000 in the provinces, a large political circle of 70 associations with 50,000 workers, 5 socialist newspapers in Copenhagen, 4 in the provinces, 1 satirical weekly are proof of this.

He details the miserable lot of workers in industry and agriculture from the point of view of wages and hours of work.

He recalls the strike of 1885 when the engineering workers, —55—to obtain a wage of 40 centimes an hour, fought for 3 months, supported by 700,000 francs in subscriptions and were defeated all the same. He goes on to announce that the cabinetmaking carpenters are currently on strike. He concludes by saying that the workers of Copenhagen are socialists, that they are fighting to overthrow royalty and replace it with a Social Republic, and that they call on all other countries to do the same.

Citizen Camps, Spanish delegate, then reads his report which Citizen Costa translates into French.

The movement, he says, began in 1848, with an association of hand weavers in Catalonia who founded the first society for resistance against the abuses of capitalism.

Since 1868 other associations for resistance have developed, above all after the International Congress in Basel in 1869. At that time the workers' movement took on a new aspect; it began to join in with the political movement to overthrow the monarchical government. Indeed, a revolution in favour of freedom and law had naturally to be defended by the workers who had hitherto been oppressed by the tyranny of a despotic royalty.

Then political and socialist workers' centers were formed. Delegates were sent to parliament and the town halls, and the movement began to reap the benefits that the workers' organization was able to derive from participating in political struggles.

In 1869, following the International Congress in Prague and the Regional Congress in Barcelona, the International Federation of Spanish Workers was founded, that is to say a huge association for revolutionary resistance with 7 newspapers (he reads out the names).

Progress has been made which would have been incalculable if —58—the division into tendencies had not brought about a halt, because if the development of socialism did not advance more it must be attributed in large part to the differences between tendencies, as well as to the decision of the Cortes which declared that these associations were illegal.

The largest of the labour resistance organizations is the "Federation of the three classes of steam" of Catalunha, which has a very turbulent history; it has a paper and a large number of members (70,000).

The Federation of coopers has 500 members; it has undertaken great struggles against capitalism. The National Metalworkers Union is also well organized, etc, etc.

The tendencies of these associations are anarchist, Marxist and possibilist, but it cannot be said that one of these categories of socialism is superior to the other as a numerical or moral force. There is even a section of the workers in the camp of the Republicans properly so called, but most of them are indifferent to it. There you have the situation of the Spanish movement.

The president reads a letter from the Chambre Syndicale of the weavers of Bessèges, who after the disaster which struck them were too poor to send a delegate to Congress, but declare that they support it and choose Citizen Portrat, a miner from Montceau-les-Mities, to represent them.

He then reads a message of support from the Congress of weavers of Cholet who choose Citizen Dumay to represent them.

Citizen Lavy reads the minutes of the previous meeting which are adopted after a correction by Citizen Parnell, who was not a delegate of the cabinetmakers of London but of the "Council of Trade Unions of London".

Citizen S. Headingley, an English delegate, reads a message of support from the Wimbledon Branch of the Social Democratic Federation.

Citizen Lavy, secretary of the Congress, communicates a —57—letter from the "Betnah green Branch"[Translator's notes 33] of the Social Democratic Federation, which congratulates Congress and announces that, in a meeting held in London, the storming of the Bastille was celebrated and the memory of those who fell that very day was saluted.

The secretary informs the delegates that the administrative committee meets at two o'clock precisely and invites the members of the National Committee and the foreigners who are part of it to be there. He also notifies the delegates that Citizen Dubosc is selling the “Marseillaise des Proletaires” to Congress attendees at a price of 0 fr. 10, for the benefit of the strikers in Barcelona.

Citizen Burns asks that the organizing committee bring in around 100 issues of the "Parti Ouvrier" newspaper[Translator's notes 34] every morning, so that delegates can find the information they need easily.

Citizen Lenormand, rapporteur for the commission of the Chambres Syndicales, reminds delegates that they must provide him with the number of members of their union.

Citizen Lavy informed Congress that the group of Swiss refugees had sent their support.

The Dutch, Portuguese, English and American delegates table their report on the situation in their country without reading it out, to avoid any waste of time.

The delegate of the Irish federation announces that his comrades had given him a handful of flowers picked from the tomb of the Chicago martyrs[Translator's notes 35] and asked him to place it on the wall of the Communards.

The session adjourned at noon.

Fifth Session[edit source]

Held on the 17th of July in the evening

The session opens at nine o'clock, under the chairmanship of Citizen A. Fortuijn, a Dutch delegate, and Citizen Caumeau, a French delegate. The assessors are citizens Croce, an Italian delegate, and Simonet, from the St. Etienne metal workers. Secretary for the session is Citizen H. Galiment.

Citizen Augé reads out the minutes of the previous session. These minutes are approved after a correction by a Danish delegate, who notes that there is a Socialist MP in the Danish Parliament.

Citizen Lavy communicates the response of the dissident Congress on the subject of the merger.

To the International Workers' Congress assembled at 10, rue de Lancry.


In the name of the International Socialist Workers' Congress assembled at 42, rue Rochechouart, by virtue of the decisions of the Bordeaux and Troyes Congresses, and of the international conference in The Hague, we are communicating to you the decision taken by the permanent bureau, mandated for this purpose, about this letter.

According to the resolution it passed yesterday, our Congress can only agree to the pure and simple union of the two Congresses; not having made or making any restrictions, not having set and not setting any conditions, it does not accept any.

The Italian delegation is responsible for delivering this communication.

For the bureau:

The secretary, R. LAVIGNE.



Citizen Joffrin appeals to the sense of fairness of the foreign delegates. We have not said a single word of abuse about the socialists of the dissident Congress. Nevertheless they go so far as to create nationalities that do not exist like Alsace-Lorraine. Nothing prevents them from creating a delegation for Champagne, or for Normandy. The Marxists may have hoped to deceive us with fictitious mandates, but they have been far too naive.

Citizen Costa, delegated by the dissenting Congress to bring the reply about the merger, regrets that the desired union has not been achieved. He thinks that we could skip the formality of the validation of mandates. He adds that the Italian delegation will attend the two Congresses without taking part in the vote on the resolutions.

Citizen Croce, delegate of the Italian workers' party, protests against these words. He will take part in the work of the only legitimate Congress.

The agenda is decided on the question of the merger. The various nationalities have voted for the agenda, with the exception of Italy.

Citizen Lenormand, rapporteur for the commission of the chambres syndicales, reminds delegates that they must provide him with the number of members of their union.

Citizen Lavy informs Congress that the group of Swiss refugees have sent their support.

The next order of the day is the discussion of the 1st question:

International labour legislation. — Legal regulation of the working day. — Work by day, at night, on public holidays, by adults, by women and by children. — Oversight of workshops in large and small industries, as well as domestic industry. Ways and means to achieve these demands.

The delegate of the numbering machine makers takes the floor. The working day should be eight hours, he said. Physiologists believe that overwork wears out —60—the body. From the political point of view, the reduction of the working day is necessary to allow the political education of the people. From the moral point of view, a man should spend some time in the bosom of his family. He is prevented from doing so by long working days. Men must have one day of rest per week. Women must not work. Their place is by the domestic hearth. Children should not work until the age of fifteen. The oversight of the workshops is not strict enough. While night work cannot be entirely prohibited, blast furnace owners, for example, should be subject to a fixed fee for each hour of night work. This charge will be used to provide a fund for the elderly and those unable to work.

Citizen Jensen, a Danish delegate, explains that in his country workers demand an eight-hour day, a ban on night work, and holidays. As in France, the oversight of the workshops is poorly done because delegates of the workers are excluded from the duties of inspectors, which are reserved for the bourgeoisie.

The delegate of the Association for resistance of the lithograph print workers of the Seine district reads a report on the first question:

Long working days generate crises of overproduction. Women must claim their rights as mothers to bring up their children and take care of the household. The man alone must provide for the needs of the family. The introduction of women and children into the workshop lowers wages. If the woman works, her salary should equal that of the man. Finally, we must regulate production so that we no longer witness the sad spectacle of the worker working four months day and night only to remain unemployed for three or four months.

The United States delegate, representing a powerful section of the Knights of Labor, does not wish to discuss the issue of —61—principle, on which all Socialists agree. He examines the ways and means. In the United States, legislative action is limited by the autonomy of the states. Another difficulty is caused by the immigration of 500,000 European workers each year. In two weeks, the capitalists can replace the striking workers with workers from Europe. The United States has passed a law against emigration agencies that abuse the good faith of the proletariat. European workers must put pressure on their leaders to ban all emigration agencies. Once they have got rid of foreign competition, the Americans will help their brethren in Europe to emancipate themselves.

The delegate of the Union of weavers and related trades for Lyon reads his report. This report calls for international labour legislation to intervene to protect workers. This legislation will relate to fixing and reducing the working day to eight hours. As a corollary, a minimum wage will be set based on the price of essential items; the fixing of this minimum will be left to the care of the unions. Municipal, departmental and national workshops must guarantee workers against unemployment. The elderly and those unable to work will be the responsibility of society. Women should be prohibited from excessive work. It is necessary that children do not work under the age of sixteen.

As means, this report proposes that the workers' associations represented at the International Congress lead, in their respective countries, an energetic campaign with the public authorities; that in all elected bodies proposals be tabled repeatedly until they have been realized.

The weavers' union also calls for the reconstitution of the International on new bases, while respecting the autonomy of each organization. It also proposes —62—that the next congress be held in Switzerland next year.

Citizen Lavy explains the report of the Italian Workers' Party. He declares beforehand that citizen Croce, delegate of this party, does not associate himself with the acts of the other Italian delegates.[Translator's notes 36]

The Italian workers' party believes that limiting the working day is necessary to lessen the consequences of industrial crises. It also believes that night work should be abolished, and that where it is essential it should be paid twice as much as day work. Women's work must be protected; as for work by children, it must be absolutely prohibited. Oversight of industry must be exercised by representatives of the organized workers. The best means of realizing these demands consist of the energetic organization of the labour force and the continual propaganda of socialist principles.

As the time was late, further reading and discussion of the reports on the first question were adjourned until Thursday morning.

Following a report of Citizen Lenormand, the chambre syndicale of the engravers, which includes employers and workers, is struck from Congress.

The session ends at half past eleven.

Sixth Session[edit source]

Held on the 18th of July, in the morning.

The session began at nine o'clock.

The following are appointed: Chairmen, citizens Jensen, a Danish delegate, and Dumay, municipal councillor of Paris; assessors: Parnell, delegate of the Social Democratic Federation, and Simond, delegate from Lyon; secretary: Augé.


After reading four new messages of support (two from the provinces, two from Paris), the discussion started the day before concerning the first question on the Congress agenda continues.

Citizen Walker, delegate of the Social Democratic Federation, declares himself in favour of reducing the effective working day to eight hours. The Trade Unions of England want to achieve this end by means such as associations, unions, etc., which the delegate personally considers insufficient. The Trade Unions, after paying out a lot of money that they could have usefully spent on other tasks, have come to understand that the only way to achieve the goal is the legislative route.

A report filed in the House of Lords recognized that the working day in London is up to sixteen to eighteen hours a day; that a woman earns, on average, twenty sous a day; a child, two sous; a man, with a trade in hand, up to twenty francs a week. The report adds that the situation is even worse on the continent.

The speaker concludes by expressing the opinion that it is not only necessary to demand an increase in wages, but above all a reduction of the working day to eight hours. The worker will thus come to to understand social issues, thanks to the time he can devote to them.

Citizen Perret, a delegate from Constantine, thinks that the question was badly put. If we want to preserve a wage equal to that which currently exists, we must not ask for a reduction in working hours, much less talk about Sunday rest, because there are firms which only work two or three days in a week, one of which is Sunday; still if the pay for the days worked was enough to support him the remaining days, he would be in favour of that.

The English delegate Hobbard considers, on the contrary, that the —64—reduction of working hours is not enough. He has personally, and very recently, succeeded in forming a London Gas Workers' Union. This Union had only 80 members at the start. In fourteen weeks, the number of members rose to 5,000. At their first demand the frightened employer gave them everything they asked for: a raise, double pay for overtime and Sunday working. That is the only remedy: association.

He recommends that engineering workers only hand over their machines to employers who have previously guaranteed a livelihood to the workers they replace.

So, the workers must rely on themselves alone, manage their own affairs, show the bourgeois class that they are capable of leading themselves and of achieving great improvements, first by peaceful, legal means, and only then by force, if necessary.

To conclude: reduction of the working day by strong organization in numbers; no work by women or children; creation of worker-inspectors.

Citizen Soulery, delegate of the Algerian cooks, tells the story of the last strike of the railway workers of the gorges of the Chiffa. He tells how the employer incited a counter-strike, based on childish chauvinism, and asks foreigners not to work in France for wages lower than those of national workers.

Citizen J.-B. Clément, delegate of the Ardennes, demands a reduction in working hours, without reduction in wages; the fixing of wages by the Chambres Syndicales; the abolition of trading and of labour in prisons, workhouses or religious houses, in particular for the department he represents; the assimilation of slate quarriers to miners; French enterprises to be carried out by French workers; the creation of pension funds; the elimination of labour by children, who should instead have an —65—integral and professional education; the appointment of the greatest possible number of working-class deputies, municipal councillors and generals (he gives as an example the impressive results achieved by our friends of the workers' Party in the Paris City Council); and finally, the socialization of the means of production.

Citizen Parnell, an English delegate, insists on the creation of a single international law, with the reduction of working hours, oversight of factories by inspectors working in the same trade, the international organization of workers in the same trade. The future of the socialist workers' Party is in its own hands. With good organization, it will achieve all it desires.

Finally, Citizen Lenormand, delegate of the Paris hairdressers, requests in agreement with the Spanish delegation, the legal abolition of employment agencies, one day of rest per week, the abolition of night work for women and children, equal pay for equal work between men and women, and the prohibition of all work for children under the age of 14.

The secretary reads the minutes of the previous session, which are accepted.

Citizen Lavy, on behalf of the secretariat, asks Congress to kindly replace one of the secretaries, Citizen Bruguier. The Congress showed its acceptance of this request by chosing a new secretary, Citizen Regnier, delegate of the coopers.

The chairman points out that many French and foreign speakers are registered, so that the debate will last too long; he invites Congress to take action on this matter.

Congress decides that only one delegate per nationality may speak.

The Dutch delegation declares that it has been mandated to join the Marxist Congress and expresses —66—regret for its departure. This declaration is noted.

The session ends at midday.

Seventh Session[edit source]

Held on the 18th of July in the evening.

The session begins at 9 am, under the chairmanship of Citizen Figueiredo, a Portuguese delegate, and Citizen Berthaut, a French delegate. Assessors: Citizen Besant, an English delegate, and Citizen André-Gély; secretary for the session, citizen H. Galiment.

Citizen Augé reads out the minutes of the previous session. The minutes were accepted after a correction by Citizen Lenormand who points out that all the Chambres syndicales for the food industries demand the abolition of the employment agencies.[Translator's notes 37]

Citizen Lenormand announces a message of support for Congress from the Chambre Syndicale of the combined corporations of Lorient. He also reminds the Unions that they must provide him, in his capacity as rapporteur, with the number of their members.

Citizen S. Headingley, English delegate, reads out the report of the administrative committee on the first question:

The Administrative Committee, after having carefully considered all reports and proposals submitted to Congress, calls for the adoption of the following series of resolutions which include the views of the vast majority of delegates:

1. Maximum eight-hour working day fixed by international law;

2. One day of rest per week and no work on public holidays;

—67—3. Abolition of night work as far as practicable for men, and completely for women and children;[Translator's notes 38]

4. Elimination of child labour under the age of 14 and protection of children up to the age of 18;

5. Integral, general, technical and vocational education;

6. Overtime may not exceed 4 hours per 24 hours and must be paid double;

7. Civil and criminal liability of employers in the event of accidents;

8. Nomination by the workers of an adequate number of capable inspectors, paid by the State and the municipality, with full powers to enter, at any time, workshops, workplaces or trading companies, and to visit the apprentices in their own homes;

9. Creation of workshops by workers subsidized by the municipality or the state;

10. Labour in workhouses and prisons subject to the same conditions as free labour and dedicated as far as possible to major public works;

11. No foreign worker to be able to accept a job, and no employer to be able to employ foreign workers, below the price fixed by the chambre syndicale of their profession;

12. Fixing of a minimum wage in each region commensurate with the cost of all goods reasonably essential to existence;

13. Repeal of all laws against international workers' organization;

14. Equal pay and opportunities of work for men and women doing the same work.

Citizen Merlino, Italian delegate, asks the assembly if he can attend both Congresses and take part in the votes.

Citizen Berthaut replies that the Italian delegate must act according to his conscience and his mandate.

The delegate declares that the Italian workers' party is opposed to public services organized by the State and the municipality. The original International began with a very moderate reformist program. This was one of the reasons —68—for its loss. Nevertheless, citizen de Paepe set it on the revolutionary path, by making it reject mutualism and accept collectivism.[Translator's notes 39]

To vote for international labour legislation is not to carry out a revolutionary task. It is necessary to prevent the State from monopolizing the supervision of social forces in order to bring closer the Revolution which will emancipate human beings by making them autonomous in society.

The delegation of Denmark demands:

1. By law, 8 hours of work per day for all workers in each trade;

— The elimination of work at night, on public holidays and on Sundays, unless it is absolutely necessary, as for example for the means of communication;

— The elimination of child labour under 16;

— The elimination of domestic labour: cobbling, tailoring, etc. Foundation of workshops by the corporate bodies;

— The delegation calls for the State to supervise the health of the workers and demands the foundation of large retirement homes for workers disabled at work;

2. Foundation of legislative workingmen's courts in each municipality; they must be made up half of workers and half of employers who make an agreement to oversee workers materially and morally incapable of working. These workingmen's courts will be able to elect mediators for work disputes.

3. Oversight of workshops by the workers themselves who should be paid by the State;

4. Conclusions. — Congress calls for the founding of a Socialist state, with the sole purpose of ensuring their rights to all citizens, male and female.

Citizen Verryken, Belgian delegate, comments on various points in the committee's report:

The reduction of the working day to eight hours, which is easy in England, America and France, presents great difficulties in Belgium, where the working day is twelve hours on average. As for the day of rest compusorily granted to workers each week, it should be selected so as not to prejudice the essentials needed for human activity.

Citizen J.-B. Clément, delegate of the Federation of socialist workers of the Ardennes, demands that night work be paid double. He also demands that prohibiting child labour and making the nation responsible for their education and instruction be added to the report.

The delegate for the Solidarity of hairdressers explains the difficulties that would arise from banning all work on Sundays. Like the Belgian delegate, he feels that the days of rest should be chosen by the corporations themselves.

The delegate of the Federation of shoemakers of the Seine says that since the situation of workers of all countries has been described at length since the opening of the Congress, there is no need to dwell further on it in speeches. The Fédération of shoemakers of the Seine, in a comprehensive report, is issuing a program for immediate action and application. It asks, through its delegate, that the report be read as soon as possible.

Citizen John Burns, an English delegate, refutes Citizen Merlino's anarchist argument. In England, the Society of engineers,[Translator's notes 40] which has 57,000 members, is in favour of the eight-hour day. The upcoming conference in Bern shows that States everywhere are dealing with this question.

The trades unionists have nominated municipal councillors, who have introduced the eight hour day in the work of towns and municipalities. By reducing the working day, the worker is enabled to become educated and mortality is reduced. Statistics from the english Society of engineers provide proof that by reducing the working day human life is extended. Twenty-five years ago, before the reduction in working hours, the average lifespan of engineers was 38 years; now it has risen to 48 and a half years.

—70—In England, America, and Australia, production increases with the reduction of the working day. This reduction allows socialists to spread their ideas. The worker who fulfills his duty by voting, by concerned himself with political and economic questions, by paying his dues regularly to his union, will do his duty valiantly when the day of the supreme struggle arrives.

Citizen Dumay replieis to Citizen Merlino: we must use the weapons provided by the bourgeoisie to the proletariat. That is how in France the law of 1874, on child labour and underage girls, has been of great service. In Paris, most notably, it allows workers to join local supervisory committees. This law is so disagreeable to employers that they no longer take on apprentices, which allows the city of Paris to set up vocational schools.

It is thanks to the struggle on the terrain of politics that the workers can delegate some of their own to elected bodies and obtain subsidies for the Congresses and the delegations to the foreign exhibitions where they can connect with the workers of other countries.

The bourgeoisie cannot refuse to pass international labour legislation when it has even enacted laws on fishing, for example.

Citizen Fenwick, MP. for the Miners of the North of England, speaks next There can only be one opinion among workers on reducing the working day to eight hours. Labour legislation presents great difficulties for every nationality, so it must be international.

Citizen Caumeau informs the Congress of a message of support from the Thélème social studies group.

Citizen Goetschalk draws attention to certain gaps in the committee's report; we must ban the industrial use —71—of toxic products which, like white lead, can be easily substituted.

We must create an international body of labour inspectors who will have the right to enter workshops and shops in any country.

Citizen Goetschalk requests that the Committee take note of these observations.

Citizen Limanowski, the Polish delegate, explains that in despotic countries labour legislation is a beautiful dream. In Poland, for example, the schools, instead of developing the child's faculties, suppress them, by teaching them respect for autocratic rule.

To realize labour legislation it is necessary for the free nationalities to assist in the emancipation of the enslaved nationalities.

The Polish delegate asks that the need for a universal social republic be included in the committee report.

The Danish delegate is of the opinion that work by small subcontractors should be banned and replaced by that of corporate workshops.

The English delegation shares this opinion. But, as a transitional measure, it asks that the workmen inspectors of working conditions have the right to oversee small subcontractors.

The president puts the report of the commission to the vote; it is adopted with the various amendments presented by the different nationalities represented in the Congress.

The English reject Article 6.[Translator's notes 41] The Italians abstain.[Translator's notes 42]

The session ends at midnight.

The Friday evening session will take place during the daytime, from two to five, because of the party in the Town Hall.

Eighth Session[edit source]

Held on the 19th of July, in the morning.

Despite the early hour, there are many delegates present from the beginning of the session.

The appointees are: Chairmen, citizens Limanowski, a Polish delegate, and A. Dubois, of the Chambre Syndicale of iron boilermakers; assessors: citizens J. Darma Christie, a Scottish delegate, and Loupe, a delegate from the Ardennes; secretary: Citizen Rénier.

Citizen Limanowski, the Polish delegate, thanks Congress for the mark of sympathy it has granted his unhappy country by calling on Poland's sole representative to be chair.

The Congress then passes some resolutions, among others that of the citizen Simcox, in favour of a universal organization of the socialist workers' Party on the basis of corporative associations of resistance.[Translator's notes 43]

It is decided that this resolution and all those that the Congress has voted or will vote on will be transmitted to the future Conference in Berne.[Translator's notes 44]

The Ardennes delegation wants night work to be better remunerated and the state to be responsible for children to give them a complete education.

Citizen Limanowski, chairman, succceeds in having a resolution adopted wishing for each nationality to preserve or recover its political identity.

Congress declares that all peoples, using all means, must regain their national, social and political freedom.

—73—Next, discussion of the second item on the Congress agenda begins:

2. What are the most practical means to use for establishing permanent relations between workers' organizations in all countries without compromising their autonomy.Citizen H.-M. Hyndman, delegate of the General Council of the Social Democratic Federation for London, tables the following resolution, amended during the discussion by Citizen Lavy:

Congress affirms the principle that each nationality is the best judge of the political and social tactics it must follow.

For the purpose of international correspondence, an office will be formed by the Chambres Syndicales in each country.

A similar correspondence office will be formed by the socialist parties in every region where there is no national Committee; in countries where there is, the national Committee would fulfill this function.

These Committees will meet once every three months, or more often if necessary, for correspondence and reaching agreements.

Citizen Hyndman adds that there is no issue more important than the international organization of the Chambres Syndicales; so far, the English socialists have taken second palace to trade unionists in the discussions. But he wants the French socialists to know that their co-religionists across the Channel are always ready to follow their red flag of workers' demands.

He advocates international understanding, but each must be master of its particular tactics. We do not need a permanent central Council, which would inevitably become authoritarian. A Committee that will facilitate communications from one country to another is enough. He does not want an alliance that would lay its hands on the national autonomy of each group.

—74—There are moderately socialist Trade Unions and more advanced Socialist Democrats in London; the same in America, in France, in Holland. These two factions must come to an understanding, first by nationality, then between nations, thanks to this Committee of which he has just spoken. This Committee should meet depending on the number of matters to be dealt with.

We must not believe that these reductions in working hours, these wage increases of four sous per hour are the ultimate demands of the proletariat; the employers will replace men by machines.

No! it is necessary to see further and to follow the emancipation of the worker through to the end, which will be reached only when he is no longer a slave, that is to say when he holds in his hands land, machines and means of transportation. Anything less will be a hopeless palliative.

This admirable speech, eloquently translated by Citizen A.S. Headingley, moved all the delegates deeply, gripped by this disdain for speculative discussions and this concern for, this brilliant foregrounding of, the practical, achievable side of the socialist program.

Citizen Cooper of the London Trade Unions congratulates Citizen Hyndman on his words of peace and understanding between the two great factions of English socialism. For his part, he supports with all his might the resolution of his eminent opponent, as he always supports him by word and by votes. But here he can only speak for himself. If Hyndman had made these proposals for union, for common action, as early as last year, the Trade Unions would certainly have given their delegates a mandate to accept this proposal.

Meanwhile he points out to Congress the blameworthy behaviour of the Parliamentary Committee of the Trades Unions, which did not forward the invitation that —75—the French Organizing Committee of the Congress had sent them to all the trade unions.

Incidentally he demonstrates that the Trades Unions are not as unprogressive as Citizen Hyndman would have them believe. In their 1888 Annual Congress they voted for the principle of the socialization of land and mines.

Once again, he will do his best to bring about an understanding between the Trades Unions and the Social Democratic Federation so that, uniting their efforts, they can advance towards further conquests for the definitive, universal emancipation of the workers.

The Spanish delegate Baldomero Oller says just a few words, translated by citizeness Simcox, to recommend the protection of the national associations by an international alliance. As for the correspondence committees, there should be one for each nationality.

Citizen Greenwood, delegate of the English glassmakers, would support the project of an international alliance, but he would like there to be periodical publication of statistics on the moral, political and social situation of workers by nationality; a Central Committee would receive all these reports and communicate them to everyone after having previously translated them. He recalls that, during the last strike by glassmakers in France, their English comrades were forced to return letters which they had not been able to read. Citizen S. Headingley points out to him that this resolution had been voted for at the last Congress in London, and that, in this case, the labour exchanges were entrusted with this work of international correspondence.

On behalf of the French delegates, Citizen Lavy thanks Citizen Greenwood for his dedication and for the humanity of the English glassmakers during the strike of their French comrades, who received five thousand francs from them.

He notes that professional questions, which the foreign delegates are elaborating on here, are in the —76—domain of the Chambres Syndicales which should communicate internationally to resolve them when required.

As for correspondence, which is being discussed here, the national committees, where they exist, suffice to facilitate exchanges and to make international relations useful and quick.

It is therefore pointless to create an international central Committee which could become too dangerous. Moreover, he is pleased to see that this is the opinion of all the men present at the Congress who care about their dignity and their person. We must leave this way of doing things to those who need directing from above, who need a master.

The central Committee confines itself to transmitting the information of all to all; it does not make the rules, it follows the rules set by those who have given it their mandate.

Each keeps his person, his individuality; each is his own master in his own house. That is the proud affirmation that must emerge from this Congress.

No closed socialist sect, but a school widely open to all comers of any worth.

Citizen Fenwick, Member of Parliament, delegate for the Northumberland miners and trade unionist, reproaches the Social Democratic Federation with wanting to advance too abruptly by leaps, and with wanting to transform the hell of the workers into an enchanting Eden by waving a magic wand.

For him, for trade unionists, you have to go slowly, counting and recounting the results according to the effort they have cost. The best way to progress is education, which unfortunately the worker lacks. It must be provided to him complete, both theoretical and technical. Everyone must learn French or English, future debates will gain by it in brevity and interest.

Finally, he concludes by affirming that citizen Greenwood's resolution —77—aiming at the creation of an international statistical committee is sufficient and must replace the resolution from the socialist delegate Hyndman.

The meeting is now adjourned.

The debate will continue in the afternoon session.

Ninth Session[edit source]

Held on the 19th of July, in the afternoon

The session opens at 2.30 p.m. under the chairmanship of citizens Blancvalet, a Belgian delegate, and Philippe, a delegate from Paris; the assessors are citizens John Burns, an English delegate, and Soulery, a delegate from Algeria.

Citizen Lavy acts as secretary.

The minutes of the previous session are read and adopted.

The English delegation declares that it has rejected Article 6 of the draft resolution on the first item of the agenda, because it wants no overtime at all.

Citizen Lavy reads the following motion which was tabled at the morning sitting of July 18:

A committee will have the task of receiving, translating and forwarding to the interested parties all the communications addressed to it which concern the social and industrial condition of the workers.

Citizen Greenwood states that he intended to complete Hyndman's motion and not to substitute another for it as Citizen Fenwick said, and to mark the —78—character of this motion, it should begin: "The Committee, etc."

Citizen Eveleigh tables the following resolution:

Congress resolves:

That state and municipal laws be promulgated for the adoption of a pair of modern languages, specifically French-English, to be taught at the same time in the schools of France, and on our side, English-French in secondary schools and free or endowed schools; other nations to adopt at least one pair of modern languages, for example German-English or German-French, Dutch-English or Dutch-French, Italian-English or Italian-French; whichever best meets the wants or needs of each nation. In short, one of these two universal languages, English or French, should be taught side by side with the mother tongue of each nation."

Citizen Eveleigh expands on his proposal. He explains that we could use the English language as the universal language of trade, and the French language as the language of diplomacy.

Due to their superb literature these two languages are within the reach of all nations. In England this proposal has been very well received. The Lord Mayor has promised to take an interest in it.

The English delegate’s proposal is put to the vote and adopted unanimously.

Citizen Lavy reads a note from the secretariat. The note states that to date the French delegation is made up of 521 delegates representing 227 Chambre Syndicales and circles for social studies. The foreign delegation is made up of 124 groups and Chambres syndicales are represented by 91 delegates. In total: 369 groups and Chambres syndicales, and 612 delegates.

Citizen Verrycken, a Belgian delegate, reads —719—out a motion presented by the Organizing Committee for the Congress on the second question:

The Congress,

Wishing to establish permanent relations between the organizations of different countries, but resolved not to allow the autonomy of these organizations to be undermined,


1. That permanent relations must be established between the socialist organizations of the different countries, but that in no case, and under no pretext, can these relations undermine the autonomy of the national groups, these being the only and best judges of the tactics to be employed in their own country;

2. That an invitation be extended to chambres syndicales and occupational groups to federate nationally and internationally;

3. That the creation of an international bulletin written in several languages be considered by the socialist parties of the various countries;

4. That it is appropriate to ask each workers' organization to issue a card to those of its members who change residence, in order for them to be recognized by their brothers in other countries;

5. That Committees be established in each country where they do not exist to maintain international relations in the occupational and political and social realms;

6. That each year, for one year only, the national Committee of a country should act as a central international body for correspondence. This Committee is prohibited from making any decision exceeding the role assigned to it.

The report of the Committee was adopted unanimously by the nationalities present in the session.

Citizen Allemane demands that the Hyndman Amendment not be put to a vote. Each nation, having autonomy, is free to decide whether its interests require one or two committees for international relations.

—80—Congress decides that it is in this sense that item 6 of the resolutions on the second question should be understood, as well as the addition presented by Citizen Greenwood, the substance of which is as follows:

This Committee will be tasked with receiving, translating and forwarding to the interested parties all communications addressed to them and relating to the social and industrial conditions of the workers.

A copy of this resolution will be sent to the Secretary of the Parliamentary Committee of the Congress of Trades Unions, with an invitation to put it to the Annual Congress to be held in Dundee in September 1889.

Citizen S. Headingley conveys to Congress the good impression made on the English delegation by the votes just cast by Congress. The British believe that these votes are rebuilding the International.

Citizen Waudby, an American delegate, proposes the following resolution which is adopted:

The International Labour Congress declares that its resolutions in favour of the reduction of working hours and the limitation of the work by women and children, and other protective measures, cannot be taken as expressing its full program of industrial reform.

These measures are only demanded to provide for the present, to alleviate the hardships of labour and to grant the leisure, education and organization necessary to finally lead to the appropriation and control of all means of production by the workers themselves. That, we assert, is the only measure that can ensure labour its full rights.

Congress next adopts the following motion tabled by Citizen Bowen, a US delegate:

The International Labour Congress condemns immigration as a remedy for industrial crises; it is false in principle, cruel in practice, only helps the countries from which the immigrants come, and causes serious harm to the nations in which they seek asylum.

—81—It is, rather, a temporary relief for the nations of Europe, and will be rendered unnecessary by the nationalization of the means of production and a fair distribution of the products of labour.

Congress approves of the law of the United States which prohibits the importation of contract labour, and declares that every government should introduce a law forbidding such contracts in their respective territories and another law punishing incitement to immigration through false promises and misrepresentation.

Citizen Fulgueroso, a Spanish delegate, speaks about the creation of a newsletter intended to disseminate socialist principles in different languages. He proposes that resolutions taken for this purpose be sent to the Committee responsible for organizing the next international Congress.

The creation of a publication translated into several languages will considerably facilitate international socialist relations.

Congress next turns to the third item on the agenda: Combinations of employers and intervention by the public authorities.

Citizen Caumeau explains that employers and capitalists know how to combine to contribute to the defeat of the workers who demand either a salary increase or a reduction in working hours. The public authorities have a duty to intervene in these conflicts, but not as they usually do, by shooting workers.

Citizen Herbert Burrows, an English delegate, says that in England there are rings which corner the market in copper and other metals.

He believes that no legislation can prevent these rings. On the contrary, it is necessary that these rings be preserved, because they are the swansong of capital.

—82—When they fall, the moment will be ripe for the nationalization of the means of production.

The following resolution is read out:

While recognizing the extreme difficulty, in the present state of capitalism, of preventing by law the formation of Rings or combinations, Congress declares that all possible efforts to organize the workers must be made, so that when the time is right they are ready to take over the means of production and exchange that the current monopolies have created, in order to use them for the good of the workers, and not for the benefit of one class.

Signed: Robert HUNTER, delegate of the bottle glassworkers of England; Herbert BURROWS, S.D.F. delegate; Paul J. BOWEN, Delegate of the Knights of Labor, America.

Citizen Allemane proposes that the Congress hold three sessions on the 20th July. It is decided to stick to the two normal sessions.

The session ends at five o'clock.

Tenth Session[edit source]

Held on the 20th of July in the morning.

The chairmen of this session are: citizens Baldomero Oller, Spanish, and Bataille, French; the assessors: citizens Cooper, English, and Rogier, from Algeria; the position of secretary is taken by citizen Augé.

After reading and adopting the minutes, Congress turns to the third item on the agenda: Combinations of employers and intervention by the public authorities.

Belgian delegate Laurent Werryken, from the Brussels Federation of the workers' Party, kicks off.

—83—The combination of the employers and capitalists is all-powerful in Belgium. The employers increase the price of the prime necessities for purely physiological life or lower wages and work at their pleasure and according to their needs. It is therefore necessary to strike the employers through the heart — their property — otherwise the employer will always be the master; he will fire any worker he deems dangerous, and, by hypocritically writing a conventional formula into the worker's record, he will prevent him from being hired anywhere else. In this way two or three hundred Belgian workers have been left indefinitely on the streets.

As for strikes, they are mostly unsuccessful; the last strike in the Quenast porphyry quarries, which began in February and which only ended yesterday, is the proof. The unfortunate strikers had to give in to hunger. And what could the Belgian workers' Party do, reduced to its own resources? Send 4 to 500 kilos of bread a day for the 1,500 strikers. It would have taken 3,000 francs. If the foreign workers' unions, setting aside a little of their resources, had supported their comrades, the employers would not have won a victory which was fatal not only for the workers in these Quenast quarries, but for all Belgian workers and all the workers of the world. The example has been made. The employer will push his demands to the point of starving the worker, who will always give in.

If on the contrary the national and international unions lent one other the sums necessary to make the strike last as long as needed, the capitalist employer would give in, and the overall pay of the workers would benefit.

So let us unite, unionize, support each other, that is everything.

Citizen J.-B. Nic, of the study circle of Butte-Montmartre, said that the Employers' Institute —84—should be replaced by the action of the State, the Department, and the Municipality, which must take back under their management enterprises ceded to exploitative concessionaires. He cites an example of the casual way that certain employers and even foremen or site managers receive members of the municipal council who want to see firsthand the state of municipal works sites.

The state and the municipality must manage the work themselves, without haggling, at the rate set by the chambres syndicales, and, as a temporary measure, the employers must also stick to these prices on pain of punitive sanctions.

Citizen Lavy explains how it has come about that municipal councilors do not have the right to inspect City or private work. He says that the City Council is not the sole and absolute master of drafting specifications; but he adds that there is a municipal comittee pre-assessing eligibility for contractors, and that is where the list of contractors the city council does not want to grant anything to is fixed, even before any submission.

Citizen Georges Deaw, delegate of the carpenters and joiners of London, tables the following resolution:

Congress expresses the opinion that laws should be made by the various nationalities so that no one receives a government or municipal contract unless the concessionaires declare that they will pay their workers the wages allowed by the trade unions and will conform to the number of working hours laid down by the professional bodies.

The delegate adds that in London workers who work for the state are paid 15 or 20 centimes less per hour than workmen working for employers, thanks to rebates. He recalls that citizeness Besant and —85—citizen Cooper, here present, members of the purchasing and maintenance committee for secular schools (the School board), only buy from or give work to employers who guarantee decent wages to their workers. In the County Council (the new London City Council), of which citizen Burns is a member, the same resolution nas been adopted.

The delegate insists that these prohibitive conditions be included in the specifications for contractors.

In the municipal transport service across the Thames, for example, the sailors only work eight hours. (Applause.)

Delegate Racine (sculpture) believes that before addressing the public authorities, the workers have to be in agreement to limit the effectiveness of employers' combinations; the workers must organize nationally first, and only then in international unions. In the event of a strike in one place, the related chambres syndicales in all countries should be notified and act accordingly.

Next, citizen Allemane, rapporteur, proposes the following resolutions on behalf of the 3rd committee:

Considering that we will not see a real end to combinations of employers and financiers, both national and international, until the day when the universal proletariat is well enough organized to seize the means of production and organize the production and exchange of products in the best interests of the human community;

Considering, on the other hand, that it will take a long time for the workers to achieve such organization, and we should issue notice as soon as possible;

Congress decides:

The workers' organizations in each country must put the public authorities on notice to oppose, through existing or future laws, all combinations or rings, the aim of which is to corner the market whether in raw materials, or in essentials, or in labour.

—86—Citizen Burrows,[Translator's notes 45] an American delegate, explains that one of the special forms of cornering markets, the trust, is a capitalist combination intended to secure large profits by creating a single market; for example, for salt there was only one buyer, one seller, and one manufacturer.

The trust has gigantic power; but at the same time it acts so strongly on the economic order of things that it stimulates progress in machinery and lowers cost prices.

For example: the oil that 3,000 American manufacturers used to process is today in the hands of a single capitalist who has ruined all the others.

The establishment of these de facto monopolies is the result of capitalist evolution.

By downgrading competition, the so-called law on which the "economists" of the liberal school based their entire system, these monopolies leave the workers faced with a single industrialist who has them in his power. This shows them that there are only two ways to break free: one, transitory, cooperation; the other, definitive, the final term of social evolution: public service.

The great battle is now being fought above all against the petty capitalists, the petty bourgeoisie, who are thrown back every day into the proletariat.

If we want to use laws to prevent the fatal ruin of small industrialists, that might suggest to the employers the idea of demanding laws to prevent action by workers.[Translator's notes 46]

Once the whole of capital is in the hands of a minority so small that it is visible to all, the social problem will be simplified, just as the political problem would be simplified if there were only one monarch.

He therefore proposes to append the following additional paragraph to the resolutions under proposal:—87—

Considering, on the other hand, the immense difficulties, in the present state of capitalism, of preventing the formation of trusts by law.

Congress urges workers to make all possible efforts to organize themselves in such a way that when the time comes they can seize the means of production and distribution cornered by the present monopolists, in order to use them for the well-being of the nation and not for a single privileged class.

Citizen J.-B. Clément believes that employer combinations, which take other forms in France, are dangerous enough for the public authorities to apply existing legislation. He proposes laws to prosecute and punish employers who obstruct union organization:

Employers are prohibited from hiring foreign workers to replace striking indigenous workers.

He further demands that aid be distributed by the Departments to provide resources to workers on strike; that the public authorities intervene in favour of the workers whenever they are threatened by an employers' combination, and that it be prohibited to put armed forces at the disposal of the employers; that employers should not be able to pay foreign workers lower wages than indigenous workers; that articles 414 and 415 of the French Penal Code relating to combinations be repealed and that the tendering system be replaced by regulated labour; that prosecutions be ordered against monopolizers[Translator's notes 47]; that public authorities announce the cancellation of contracts which have yet again alienated public property, abolish monopolies — transformed into public services — and finally that the law on the International be repealed.

After a short discussion, the resolutions of the —88—Committee, amended by Citizen Burrows, are carried unanimously.

The session ends at one o'clock.

Eleventh Session[edit source]

Held on the 20th of July, in the evening.

The session opens at 9 a.m. in the presence of a considerable audience.

Citizeness Besant, English, and Citizen Lavy are elected as chairmen; citizens Defnet, Belgian, and Lenormand, French, are appointed as assessors; the secretary is citizen Augé.

Chairman Lavy says: Citizens, I informed you at one of our last sessions that our comrades in Dublin had presented the bureau with some flowers that had been gathered from the grave in Chicago. It was agreed that they would be placed on the tomb of the martyrs of 1871. We wanted these flowers to be treated respectfully and carefully preserved. One of us, Citizen Stassart, a portrait framer delegated to Congress by the Parisian group of the 9th Arrondissement, made a point of personally making, without charge, the frame which encloses the flowers gathered from the tomb in Chicago. Here is the very frame.

The flowers have been arranged in such a way that they represent an axe, the axe which will be taken to the root of the old world to establish the world of justice and equality.

So I ask you, before our foreign friends have left, to set aside a day and an hour to —89—go all together to take this image to the grave of those who died during the year of blood.[Translator's notes 48]

Congress is consulted and decides to mark a rendezvous for tomorrow, Sunday, July 21, at 3pm. in the hall of Lexcellent.

Congress then addresses the fourth question:

Setting date and location for the next Congress.

Citizen Defnet, on behalf of the Belgian delegation, tables the following motion:

In accord with the terms mentioned in their letter to the Congress of the 9th instant, the representatives of Belgium propose that the next international workers' Congress be held in 1891, in Brussels.

The national Committee of the Belgian workers' party would be responsible for convening the Congress. All nationalities, as well as associations, groups, etc., which can prove that they have been in existence for six months, will be invited to attend.

It is decided from this moment on that verification of mandates will be required and will be carried out by the delegates of each nationality with appeal to the Congress in case of dispute. In short, the same procedure followed by the National Organizing Committee of the international workers' Congress of Paris would be observed.

Citizen Parnell demands that "no society which did not exist in 1890 may be admitted to the Congress of 1891".

Citizen Gilliard, delegate of the numbering machine makers, gives a Boulangist speech which ends being hooted by the assembly. Among other things, he asks that the chambres syndicales alone be responsible for organizing the next Congress.

Citizen Gelez contests this proposal which would tend to nothing less than the exclusion of militants of the socialist proletariat from future Congresses.

Citizen Goldschalck, a delegate from Antwerp, declares that far from inviting the workers not to concern themselves with politics —90—he personally would not agree to appear at a Congress which did not fly the red flag.

Next comes the vote on the proposal of the Belgian delegation, which is accepted unanimously.

Citizen Blancvalet, a Belgian delegate, takes the floor next:

Citizens, in the name of socialist Belgium, I thank you for having nominated that country for our next Congress. We will receive you as sincere and convinced socialists should receive their brothers in socialism. We will not receive you in town halls. We will not be able to offer you celebrations as beautiful as those which were offered to us yesterday evening. But we will receive you in our home, in our House of the People, a property that belongs to us, a property that the workers have acquired by offering for years, week by week, day by day, the farthings they sacrificed from their pleasures and from their needs.

You will not take away from your visit to Belgium the same memories that we will take away from our visit to the capital of the civilized world; but you will at least take away the memory of being among fundamentally socialist associations; of seeing men sincerely determined to work for the triumph of proletarian ideas. (Applause.)

And since I have the floor, and since I am speaking here in the name of the Belgian people, in the name of the Belgian proletariat, I speak here also in the name of the foreign delegation, and I believe that I will be the interpreter for all the delegates present in expressing all our gratitude to the French workers' party for the reception it has given us and for the truly admirable way in which it has received the Socialists in this Congress, which will be recounted in the annals of the proletariat.

We must pay tribute to the French workers' party; above all we must pay homage — I myself am happy here to be called by circumstances to express this feeling in person — above all, we must pay homage to the tact, courtesy and delicacy on the part of the French national Committee which presided over all the discussions which have taken place in this Congress. (Applause.)

—90—French workers have always been in the forefront when it comes to fighting for socialist ideas. So we will end this Congress with cries of: Long live France! long live the Revolutionary Commune! long live the International! (Prolonged applause.)

The following resolution was then passed by acclamation:

The secretary of the International labour congress is entrusted with sending an acknowledgment of receipt of his letter and an expression of the debt that Congress owes him for the very useful information he provided to Citizen Samuel Gompers of New York, President of the American Federation,

The secretary will also declare to Citizen Gompers his keen desire to see the success of the eight-hour campaign which the American Federation is committed to pursue energetically in May 1890.

The agenda now calls for the designation of the country where the committee responsible for international correspondence will meet until the Congress of 1891.

Citizen Berchy proposes France. An English delegate supports this proposal.

Citizen Hyndman proposes Belgium. The Danish delegation proposes France.

Citizen Allemane, a French delegate, says that whether in Belgium or in France, we will still find ourselves in the presence of Marxists who want to subject the universal proletariat to authoritarian leadership.

Citizen Blancvallet, a Belgian delegate, replies to citizen Allemane. The Belgian workers' party will never accept the orders of the Marxists, because it relies on proper unions and associations.

The Congress decides for Belgium. Five nationalities, including France, have voted for that country. Two nationalities have voted against. Italy abstained from taking part in the vote.

—99—In the name of the "Solidarity" of the hairdressers, Citizen Lenormand asks Congress to pass a resolution for the abolition of employment agencies in countries where these institutions of capitalist exploitation exist. This resolution was passed unanimously by the delegations.

Citizeness Besant, the English chairwoman, thanks the French for giving the foreign workers a warm welcome. In the international Congress, European and American workers' delegates have passed resolutions of vast importance. The reduction of the working day to 8 hours, for example, will tear the proletarian away from a purely animal life.

No comparison can be made between the freedom demanded by the socialists and that offered to them by the bourgeoisie. The former will emancipate humanity; the latter make the poor into the slaves of the rich.

The proletarians of the world have their eyes fixed on France where the idea of revolution first germinated. If the Republic is threatened by a band of unscrupulous adventurers, foreigners will come to its aid to fight under the folds of the red flag, the only flag of humanity.

Citizen Besant's eloquent speech is greeted with the enthusiastic applause of the members of Congress.

Citizen Lavy, on behalf of the French delegation, thanks Citizen Besant for her kind words. The French workers' party has done everything possible to make the international Congress a magnificent one. If disagreements have arisen, disagreements which gave birth to a rival Congress, the fault lies with the celebrities who want to lead the proletariat of the civilized world by the nose. The men of the French workers' Party have a clear conscience because they have fulfilled their duty.

By calling citizeness Besant to chair Congress tonight —93—the Socialist delegates have proved that they want to emancipate man's companion.

France is currently passing through a terrible crisis. But in spite of the abdication of Paris on the 27th of January,[Translator's notes 49] the Republic will not fall, for the Socialists have burning convictions which they will never abandon.

The people will defend the Republic as in 1792, 1848, and 1871. By fulfilling this duty they will bring the day of the Social Revolution closer. (Prolonged applause).

At the proposal of citizeness Besant, Congress gives a vote of thanks to citizen Lavy, secretary general of the Congress of 1889, to the national Committee of the French revolutionary socialist workers Party and to Citizen S. Headingley, English interpreter and delegate.

The following proposals were adopted by acclamation:

Considering that economic reforms can only be the result of complete political freedom and the right to vote for all workers;

Considering that a great number of nations (Austria-Hungary, for example) are subjected to a despotic and oppressive regime which blocks the development of socialist ideas and stifles in blood or by proscription the complaints of the workers;

Congress affirms once again the need for universal suffrage in all countries and sends its cordial greetings and warm encouragement to all Socialists who are victims of a tyrannous government for the struggle which they so valiantly sustain.

The proceedings of this Congress will be printed and sold at cost price; each supporting group must pay 5 francs for printing costs which will be reimbursed in brochures for the said congress.

The Russian delegate remarks that since he does not represent the Russian workers' Party (and no delegate could represent it under the present conditions in Russia), he had to abstain in the votes on all questions —94—submitted to Congress which directly concern the workers' parties.

But on the question of the organization of continuing relations between the socialist parties of the various countries the Russian delegate is authorized by his group to declare that he agrees with the proposals submitted to Congress in this regard. He therefore believes in the need for the autonomy of the parties in each country and declares himself ready to support the implementation of the decisions of Congress with all his power.

At midnight, the closure of the 1889 international workers' Congress is announced by Citizen Lavy, who ends the session with cries, repeated by the audience, of: “Long live the Commune! Long live the International! Long live the Social Revolution!”

The farewell banquet

The next day, the delegates gathered together for the last time in a fraternal feast, which the Workers' Party[Translator's notes 50] reported in these terms:

A large banquet brought the Cogress delegates together in the evening at half past six, in the Porte Dorée, avenue Daumesnil, 215-277.

Three hundred and fifty guests, many of whom were women and children, answered the call of the organizers; all the foreign delegations that came to the Congress were represented there.

The audience noticed that the Party's town councillors were particularly in demand.

The room was beautifully decorated with the flags of the workers' Party branches and with shields bearing as inscriptions the great historical dates of the proletariat and "Long live the Social Revolution".

The guests had nothing but praise for the service; as for those in charge of organization, the way in which they —95—discharged their multiple and delicate functions was above all praise. Citizen Picau had truly outdone himself.

Citizen S. Headingley, an English delegate, had been designated as the honorary chairman for this fraternal feast, while the French Prudent-Dervillers and the Belgian Blancvallet were the actual chairmen.

Places at the head table were taken by: citizen Dolosy, Hungarian; Xuriguera, Spanish; Figueiredo, Portuguese; Croce, Italian; Verryken, Belgian; J. Jensen, Danish; Limanowski, Polish; Paulard, representing Switzerland; citizen Avez, French; citizen Daubanay, representing the Chambres Syndicales of Paris; Limousin, the provincial groups; Machieraldo, those from Algeria; Lavy and Avez, representing the national Committee; Faillet, the City Council of Paris; Brunet, the Labour Exchange.

At the conclusion of the banquet citizens Blancvallet and S. Headingley were the first to take the floor; their speeches, filled with humour, aroused fervent applause.

Citizen Lavy, in a witty improvisation, addressed his thanks to the foreign delegates for the care they had taken to make the Congress a success.

The evening ended very late with a punch, offered by the Labour Exchange, and everyone went their separate ways, taking with them an excellent memory of this cordial celebration which fittingly terminated the international Congress.

  1. The name 'Possibilist' has been added to the title to make the proceedings easier to distinguish from the proceedings of the 'Marxist' congress. In the original printed proceedings, the only difference in the title of the two Congresses is that the Possibilist Congress includes the word 'Socialist'.
  2. That is, the Fédération des travailleurs socialistes de France (FTSF), also known as the Possibilists and led by Paul Brousse, as opposed to the Parti Ouvrier Français (POF), (the Marxists) led by Jules Guesde. Throughout these proceedings, when the phrase 'French workers' Party' is used it is to refer either to the French socialist movement as a whole, or, as in this case to the FTSF alone; the POF is never mentioned directly.
  3. The London Congress had been organized by the British Trade Unions, with the additional involvement of the Social Democratic Federation (SDF) and the FTSF. It was during that Congress that negotiations over the involvement of the German and Austrian socialist parties broke down, leading to the two separate Paris Congresses.
  4. That is, the national committee of the FTSF.
  5. Aimé Lavy, leading member of the FTSF, would be elected as member of parliament for Seine the following year.
  6. Jean Allemane was expelled from the FTSF in 1890, and subsequently formed the syndicalist-oriented Parti Ouvrier Socialiste-Révolutionnaire, criticised by both Possibilists and Marxists for its support of the general strike as a tactic.
  7. "Conseiller prud'homme" - a post filled by a member of the public, similar to jury service in the UK.
  8. Paul Brousse, leader of the Possibilist current in the FTSF (also known as the 'Broussists').
  9. In 1888 Joffrin had joined with the Republicans Clemenceau and Arthur Ranc to create the Society for the Rights of Man and Citizen, in order to form a common socialist-republican front against Boulanger. The Society had its seat in the Rue Cadet, and 'Cadettism' became a shorthand for the accusation that the Possibilists were allies of bourgeois parties, one of the arguments against merging the two Congresses used by the left fringe of the 'Marxist' parties.
  10. The Prolétariat was the party paper of the FTSF.
  11. Smith Headingley was a regular intermediary for the French FTSF and the British SDF; he also translated for French trade unionists at meetings of the TUC. He was strongly disliked by Engels, who called him a 'lout-interpreter' in his letters (MECW Vol. 48), mainly because of his closeness to Hyndman.
  12. Liebknecht gave the equivalent report at the Marxist congress.
  13. In 1880 liberal and radical republicans founded the Union des Chambres Syndicales Ouvrieres de France, led by the journalist Jean Barberet. The 'Barberettistes' were on the right wing of the union movement, but of diminishing importance by 1889.
  14. The Chambres Syndicales were area based organisations specialised by industry or trade. It appears that they could also include employers' bodies. The direct equivalent of the British Trades Council was the Bourse de travail, which has the literal meaning of Labour Exchange, and did actually later function as a labour exchange. Given the specifically French nature of these organizations the terms have been left untranslated throughout. The English language minutes of the 1888 London Congress translate the term as 'syndical chambers', which does not seem to be an improvement.
  15. Following internal divisions within the Danish socialist party, two party representatives were delegated to the Marxist congress, while two union representatives were delegated to the Possibilist congress, representing the left and right wings of the party respectively.
  16. Andrea Costa, leader of the Partito Socialista Rivoluzionario Italiano, was attending both Congresses with a mandate to get them to unite, but failing this, to abstain in all votes in both congresses.
  17. Since the 1889 Paris Exhibition - which included the Eiffel Tower - celebrated the centenary of the French Revolution, it was boycotted by European royalty.
  18. A mocking reference to Boulanger.
  19. Shortened form of Vive la Republique Democratique et Sociale, 'slogan of the revolutionary poor since the June insurrection of 1848' (Raimund Rütten, « À la recherche d’une république démocratique et sociale », Cahiers d’histoire. Revue d’histoire critique 139, 2018 (DOI))
  20. The nomination of the assessors for mandates was not mentioned in the Proceedings for Monday. According to John Burns' report, the assessors were selected within each national group; for Britain there were 5 assessors selected: Parnell, Fenwick, Hunter, Turner and John Burns himself.
  21. There are numerous mistakes in both the organization and personal names in this list, to the extent that it seems misleading to translate them. Only country names and section headings have been translated.
  22. The Dublin Socialist Club was originally a branch of the Socialist League, but was expelled due to its support of the German police spy Theodor Reuss. Auguste Coulon later moved from Dublin to London where he worked for the Metropolitan Police as a spy and agent provocateur, and from there to Walsall where he was involved in the entrapment of the Walsall Anarchists for Walsall Special Branch. Auguste Coulon is not mentioned again in these proceedings.
  23. A.K. Donald was a lawyer, who was associated with Engels and Eleanor Marx. He was also delegated to and attended the Marxist Congress, where he proposed a motion on fusion of the two Congresses.
  24. Jesse Chapman (not 'Chafman') was a leading figure in the Knights of Labor branch in Smethwick, England. See The Knights of Labor in Britain, 1880-1901, Henry Pelling, The Economic History Review 9, no. 2 (1956): 313–31 (DOI).
  25. See footnote 9.
  26. Engels wrote to Paul Lafargue (27 May 1889, MECW Vol. 48) "[William Parnell] is being sent by his trades union (cabinet makers) to the Possibilist congress, where he and [John] Burns will support our line."
  27. Thomas Burt and Charles Fenwick were both miners who had become Lib-Lab M.P.s; both were strongly opposed to bringing in an 8-hour day by legislation.
  28. The Dutch Social-Democratic League delegated Vliegen and Fortuijn to both the Possibilist and the Marxist Congress, with a mandate to work for their merger.
  29. There was one Portuguese attending the Marxist Congress, but he attended only as an observer, not a delegate.
  30. Belgium, Italy, and Holland - the three countries most in favour of merger, and which were attending both Congresses - voted against the motion, knowing that the clause requiring a second validation was intended to make it unacceptable to the Marxist Congress.
  31. Two factories outside Paris, Menier manufacturing electric cables and insulators, Decauville a steam engine factory, with a 'model village' for its workmen. See Les grandes usines, études industrielles en France et à l'étranger by Julien François Turgan, available on
  32. The layout of the published text makes it appear that this vote was repeated, rather than being included in the note to the Marxist Congress, but this may be a printing error. Poland's vote is the opposite of the vote recorded the previous evening.
  33. Presumably Bethnal Green.
  34. A paper run by Jean Allemane's supporters.
  35. The death of Chicago Martyrs, innocent anarchists executed in reprisal for the Chicago bombing in 1887, was remembered annually by most Socialist parties of the period, as were the victims of the massacre after the Paris Commune.
  36. That is, that unlike Costa, who is attending both Congresses but refuses to vote in either if they do not merge, Croce believes the Possibilist Congress is the only legitimate one and is happy to vote in it.
  37. The working of these 'employment agencies' is explained in more detail by some of the speakers at the Marxist Congress (in particular, Lentz): workers had to pay the agencies to be able to work in their trade, from which employers also took a cut, and the agencies kept records of workers 'blacked' who would not be offered any work at all.
  38. Hyndman claimed that the actual decision grouped women with men, not children, and hoped that the final proceedings would show this; see the International Review, August 1889, p. 33-44.
  39. De Paepe was one of the early leaders of the Belgian workers' party (he was currently attending the Marxist Congress). By Collectivism is meant the social ownership of the means of production, particularly land and large fixed capital; the idea arose independently of Marxism and was largely developed by De Paepe, who defended it in the First International from the Lausanne Congress of 1867 on, in contrast with earlier Proudhonian programs of Mutualism. The idea of collectivism was general enough to be partly shared by Marxists, Municipal Socialists, and Anarchist-Communists like Merlino. See César de Paepe and the Ideas of the First International, W. Witham, Modern Intellectual History 16(3), pp. 897-925 (DOI).
  40. John Burns was a member of the Amalgamated Society of Engineeers
  41. Article 6 limits overtime. The English explain their position (against all overtime) in the next session
  42. The Italians did not vote since their mandate only permitted voting in a unified Congress.
  43. Edith Jemima Simcox, feminist and trade unionist, and a Fabian. There are no further references to these 'associations corporatives de résistance', and no further context to understand the meaning of this resolution.
  44. The intergovernmental conference on labour legislation was due to be held in Berne. Both the Marxist and the Possibilist congresses intended to provide a workingman's or socialist position on the issues for consideration by the Berne conference. In the end the conference was moved to Berlin, and held in May 1890.
  45. There is no American named Burrows in the delegate list; the only Burrows listed is Herbert from the British SDF. It seems likely that this is a mistake for Paul Bowens.
  46. Similar debates on whether the Socialist parties should aim to protect small farmers or hasten their demise were taking place in the Danish and German parties in particular.
  47. 'Monopolizer' meant in the sense of people who corner the market in something, as in the medieval offence of engrossing, not in the more modern sense used by Burrows/Bowen.
  48. The 'year of blood' is 1871, year of the massacre of the communards
  49. January 27th 1889 was the date that Boulanger was elected deputy for Paris
  50. Le Parti Ouvrier was a newspaper published by Jean Allemane and his supporters.