Resolution of the General Council Expelling Henri Louis Tolain from the International Working Men's Association

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The resolution of the Federal Council of the Paris sections of the International expelling Tolain from the IWMA as a deserter of the working-class cause was published in the newspaper of one of the Paris sections, La Revolution politique et sociale, No. 3, April 16, 1871. The next day, this news appeared in The Times (No. 27039), The Standard (No. 14573) and other newspapers. Tolain, who was elected deputy to the National Assembly on February 8, 1871 from the Paris workers, after the proclamation of the Paris Commune remained in the Versailles Assembly the activity of which was aimed at suppressing the revolution in Paris, and refused to fulfil the Commune’s demand that the workers’ deputies break with that reactionary body. Even before this, the General Council, acting on the strength of reports in the London press, had a preliminary discussion on Tolain’s treacherous behaviour at its meeting on April 18 and decided that it should be publicly condemned. After receiving the resolution on April 25, the General Council resumed its examination of Tolain’s case and resolved to expel him from the International.

In the manuscript of the General Council’s resolution on Tolain’s expulsion, written by Engels, some corrections are made by Marx. The resolution was published in English in The Eastern Post, No. 135, April 29; in French (translated by Engels)—in L’Internationale, No. 122, May 14; in German—in Der Volksstaat, No. 42, May 24 and Der Vorbote, No. 7, July 1871. The last paragraph of the manuscript is published only in L’Internationale, which printed the resolution over Engels’ signature, as a corresponding secretary pro tem for Belgium.

The General Council of the I.W.M.A. Considering the resolution of the Federal Council of the Paris Sections expelling Citizen Tolain from the Association[1] because, after having been elected to the National Assembly as a representative of the Working Classes, he has deserted their cause in the most disgraceful manner; which resolution the General Council is called upon to confirm;

Considering that the place of every French member of the I.W.M.A. is undoubtedly on the side of the Commune of Paris and not in the usurpatory and counter-revolutionary Assembly of Versailles;

Confirms the resolution of the Paris Federal Council and declares that Citizen Tolain is expelled from the I.W.M.A.

The General Council was prevented from taking action in this matter sooner by the fact that the above resolution of the Paris Federal Council was laid before them, in an authentic shape, on the 25th April only.

  1. ↑ [Resolution of the Federal Council of the Paris Sections of the I.W.M.A. expelling Tolain] La Revolution politique et sociale, No. 3, April 16, 1871.— Ed