International Working Men’s Association

The Minute Book of the General Council
April 1865

Meeting of the Central Council
April 4, 1865

The minutes are in Cremer’s hand on pp. 42-43 of the Minute Book.

The President and Vice-President [Odger and Eccarius] being absent, Citizen Jung proposed, Citizen Lessner seconded, that Citizen Dell take the chair. Carried unanimously.

Citizen Fox (in absence of the Secretary who was unavoidably absent) read the minutes of the last meeting which were confirmed.

Citizen Whitlock objected to the use of the term “Citizen” in the reports for the press.

Citizen Bolleter defended it; it was agreed to postpone any discussion on the point until another occasion.

Letters were then read from Citizens Lubez and Denoual withdrawing from the Central Council because they had no confidence in the persons who represented the Association in Paris.

A letter was also read from Citizen Fontana signed by Citizens Lama, Solustri, Setacci and Aldovrandi announcing their intention of withdrawing from the Central Council unless Henri Lefort was reinstated in his former position of official defender of the Association in the Paris press.

Speeches were made by Citizens Wolff, Dupont, Fox, Whitlock, Jung, Bolleter, Holtorp, Morgan and Weston, in which no proposal was made to reconsider the decision at which the Council had arrived.

Citizen Fox proposed, Citizen Kaub seconded:

That the resignations of Citizens Lubez, Denoual, Fontana, Aldovrandi, Lama, Setacci and Solustri be accepted. Carried unanimously.

Citizen Fox made a statement of the reasons which had hitherto prevented the Polish refugees in London from forming a society and joining the Association.

Citizen Holtorp explained the cause of his differences with Messrs. Zabicki and Bobczynski.

Citizen Kaub read from the Social-Demokrat the report of a Mr. Becker’s speech at Hamburg containing misrepresentations of the Association, and asked for authority to reply thereto in the name of the Association.[72]

Citizen Fox proposed, Citizen Buckley seconded, that Citizen Kaub be authorised accordingly. Carried unanimously.

Citizen Weston proposed for discussion the following questions:

1st. Can the social and material prosperity of the working classes generally be improved by means of higher wages.

2nd. Do not the efforts of Trades Societies to secure higher wages operate prejudicially to the other sections of industry.

The proposer declared that he would support the negative of the first and the affirmative of the second proposition.

Citizen Jung proposed, Citizen Dupont seconded, that these questions be placed on the order of the day for discussion. Carried unanimously.[73]

The meeting then adjourned till April 11th.

J. G. ECCARIUS, Chairman
W. CREMER, Honorary General Secretary

Meeting of the Central Council
April 11, 1865

The minutes are in Cremer’s hand on pp. 44-45 of the Minute Book.

Vice-President Eccarius in the chair.

On the reading of the former minutes Citizen Whitlock stated that he had not at the last meeting voted that the resignation of Lubez and the Italian members of the Central Council should be received; he did not recollect such a motion being put or he should have voted against it.

Every other member of the Central Council present declared such a resolution to have been fairly put and carried without a dissentient.

The minutes of the former meeting were then confirmed.

Letters were read from carpenters at Chelsea asking for a deputation to explain the principles of the International Working Men’s Association, also from No. 1 Lodge [of] Operative Bricklayers to the same effect; deputations were appointed to attend both bodies.

The situations of corresponding secretary for France, also for Belgium, having become vacant consequent on the resignation of Citizen Lubez, Citizen Jung proposed, Morgan seconded, that Citizen Marx be corresponding secretary pro tem. for Belgium.[74] Carried unanimously.

Citizen Marx proposed, Citizen Cremer seconded, that Citizen Dupont be appointed corresponding secretary for France. Carried unanimously.

A discussion then took place having reference to officers of the Association retaining after their resignation property or documents which properly belong to the Association.

Citizen Longmaid proposed, Citizen Bordage seconded:

That all official correspondence and replies together with any official documents are the property of the Association and ought to be handed over to the Central Council. Carried unanimously.

Citizen Jung proposed, Citizen Cremer seconded, that Citizen Valltier be nominated as a member of the Central Council.

Citizen Marx stated that one of the 32 members who had met recently in Paris had been prosecuted by the French Government for publishing a pamphlet.[75]

The auditors, Citizens Longmaid and Morgan, gave in their report which [several words here are erased in the original] stated that the profits on the late soirée were £8.6s.11 ½d. and the balance in hand on the 28th of March last was £6.3s.8 ½d.

The report was received.

Citizen Jung proposed, Citizen Morgan seconded, that the accounts be audited quarterly.

Citizen Howell then proposed and Citizen Whitlock seconded, that the Secretary write to the Italian Working Men’s Association and request them to send a delegate to the Central Council in the place of those resigned.

As an amendment Citizen Weston proposed and Citizen Kaub seconded, that the Secretary write to the President of the Italian Working Men’s Association and inform him that the office of corresponding secretary for Italy is vacant.

The amendment was carried by a majority of 1, 9 voting for the resolution and 10 for the amendment.

Citizen Whitlock proposed and Citizen Weston seconded that the Council at its rising adjourn for a fortnight. Carried unanimously.

Citizen Longmaid proposed and Citizen Marx seconded:

That the Secretary write to those members of the Central Council who have not taken their cards of membership and inform them that unless they do so on or before April 25, that they will be considered as wishing to withdraw and their names will accordingly be struck off the roll of councilmen. This resolution was considered by the Central Council necessary inasmuch as complaints had been made that a former resolution of a similar character had never been communicated officially to absentee members.

The resolution was carried unanimously.

It was then agreed to that the proposition of Citizen Weston on the question of wages should come on for discussion on May 2nd and that members of the Association were eligible to attend the discussion, also that any member of the Central Council is at liberty to introduce a friend.

The Council then adjourned to April 25th.

J. G. ECCARIUS, Vice-President
W. CREMER, Honorary General Secretary

Meeting of the Central Council
April 25, 1865

The minutes are in Cremer’s hand on pp. 45-47 of the Minute Book.

Vice-President Eccarius in the chair.

The minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed.

Valltier was elected member of the Central Council on the proposition of Jung, seconded by Cremer.

The following were nominated for election on the Central Council: Lassassie proposed by Lessner, Schapper proposed by Marx, Narcisse Salvatella proposed by Jung.

Dupont gave report of his visit to Paris. The Administration has entrusted [here six lines in the Minute Book are pasted over with a new text following the amendments introduced in the minutes at the next meeting of the Council] him with 100 francs to pay to the Treasurer of the Central Council. He had not been able to meet as many of the members in Paris as he had wished, but he had been instructed to ask two questions: 1st, if Continental administrations shall at any time appoint a deputy or deputies to confer with the Central Council (as in the case of Citizens Tolain and Fribourg); are their expenses to be paid by themselves or deducted from members’ subscriptions; 2nd, are the corresponding members on the Continent [the insert ends here] also members of the Central Council and, should they come to London, would they he allowed to vote.

Citizen Marx proposed, Fox seconded:

That if the expenses of Citizens Tolain’s and Fribourg’s journey to London are sanctioned by the Paris Administration, that the Central Council authorise their payment; also that the resolution of February 7th referring to the expenses of branches be sent to Citizens Tolain and Fribourg for their future guidance. Carried unanimously.

Citizen Wheeler proposed, Citizen Marx seconded, that Continental corresponding members be ex officio members of the Central Council. Carried unanimously.

Citizen Jung read letters from Geneva which stated that on April 2, 200 members had joined the Association and had elected a general committee of 15 members and a managing committee of 7.[76]

Jung proposed, Marx seconded, that Citizens Dupleix, Falconnet and Philipp Becker be the corresponding members of the Association in Switzerland. Carried unanimously.

A question being asked as to whether females were eligible as members, Citizen Wheeler proposed, Bordage seconded, that females be admitted as members. Carried unanimously.

Citizen Marx read a letter from Ernest Jones on the suffrage[77]; he also read a letter from Citizen Fontaine asking for a declaration of principles. Questions in said letter referred to Sub-Committee.[78] He also read a letter from the compositors at Leipsic referring to their strike and expressing a hope that the London compositors would assist them.[79]

Citizens Fox, Marx and Cremer were deputed to attend the Compositors’ Society.

Cremer proposed, Weston seconded:

That the Central Council invite the Emancipation Society[80] and the Trades Unionist Committee to meet together and organise a demonstration to celebrate the restoration of the American union and the abolition of slavery. Carried unanimously.

Fox proposed, Citizen Whitlock seconded:

That the Central Council having received the resignation of Citizen Le Lubez, desires to record its sense of the value of the services he has rendered to this Association both in its inception and in the subsequent work of propagating its principles in this metropolis, and as Corresponding Secretary for France. The Council also looks forward with pleasure to the time when Citizen Le Lubez will find himself able to resume his place at our board. The resolution was lost, 3 only voting for it.

The meeting then adjourned to May 2nd.

J. G. ECCARIUS, Vice-President