International Working Men’s Association

The Minute Book of the General Council
June 1865

Meeting of Central Council
June 6, 1865

The minutes are in Cremer’s hand on pp. 54-55 of the Minute Book.

The President [Odger] in the chair.

The previous minutes were read and confirmed.

The President introduced Citizen Leon Lewis to the meeting who made a long statement in regard to a newspaper which he contemplated bringing out; said journal would be of the most democratic character and he had no doubt of its being made a success. It had been to him a matter of great surprise that the working men of Great Britain had no organ which faithfully represented their interests. He thought it quite time such a want was supplied.

Citizens Marx, Carter and Fox agreed as to the necessity for such an organ.

Citizen Cremer would prefer that some control should be exercised over such journal by a body of working men.

Citizen Lewis would have no objection to a committee of advice and should always listen to their counsel and advice.

The following resolution was eventually proposed by Citizen Dell, seconded by Citizen Jung and carried unanimously:

That Citizen Lewis send to this Council at its next meeting the exact conditions upon which he will co-operate .with this Society and if this Council approve of such, it shall name any number to co-operate with Citizen Lewis, meeting at his office periodically.[97]

Citizen Marx stated that when Citizen Weston’s propositions are again discussed he should read a paper in reply and propose a series of counter-resolutions.[98]

The Secretary stated he had received two letters from the Greenwich and Deptford branch referring to Citizen Le Lubez and his relation to the Central Council; he would propose that the questions involved be referred to the Sub-Committee.[99] Referred accordingly.

Citizen Dupont read a communication from Paris in reference to the cards of membership and their expenses.

The letters and their contents were referred to the Sub-Committee.

Citizen Fox suggested that handbills be printed and distributed broadcast, inviting members to the Association.[100] Referred to Sub-Committee. [This sentence was inserted when the minutes were confirmed at the Council’s next meeting.]

Citizen Lewis, being asked if he knew anyone who could and would fill the office of corresponding secretary for America, stated in reply he should have no objection to filling such post; on the [proposition] of Citizen Dell, seconded by Citizen Eccarius, Citizen Leon Lewis was unanimously elected corresponding secretary for the United States of America.

The Council then adjourned to June 13th.

W. R. CREMER, Honorary General Secretary
President [unsigned]

Meeting of Central Council
June 13, 1865

The minutes are in Cremer’s hand on pp. 56-57 of the Minute Book.

President [Odger] in the chair. The Secretary read the minutes of the former meeting which, with a slight alteration suggested by Citizen Fox, were confirmed.

Citizen Fox read a letter from Citizen Lewis stating his inability to attend the sitting of the Council, also that he had for the present decided to defer the issue of the Commoner.

The report of the Sub-Committee was then given by the Secretary with regard to the Le Lubez imbroglio; they had decided on the following resolution:

That this Committee feels bound to express its regret that Citizen Le Lubez should have written the passages he did in his letter to Citizen Lefebvre regarding the Paris Committee, but believing they were written under unfortunate impressions, considers that the resolution for his readmission should be strictly adhered to and carried into effect immediately. Also that Citizens Fox, Jung and Odger, be appointed a deputation to wait on the Greenwich and Deptford branch to explain to them the reasons which have actuated the Council in delaying the readmission of Citizen Le Lubez and passing the above resolution.

Citizen Dell proposed, Howell seconded, that this Council confirm the resolution of the Sub-Committee. Carried unanimously.

The Sub-Committee had also instructed Citizen Dupont to request the Paris Administration to get their accounts audited and forward a balance-sheet to the Central Council. Approved.

Citizen Fox proposed, Citizen Wheeler seconded, that [here eight lines, cut out from the report carried by The Bee-Hive, No. 192, June 17, 1865, are pasted into the Minute Book. A stylistic change in handwriting has been made in the first two lines] Citizen Lefebvre be elected correspondent for the Department of Neufchâteau. Carried unanimously.

The Anniversary Meeting of the June Insurrection

Citizen Lessner announced that the German Working Men’s Mutual Improvement Association would hold their meeting in celebration of the above event in the hall of the Metropolitan Institution, Cleveland Street, on Wednesday, June 28. [The newspaper clipping ends here.]

It having transpired that funds were wanting to pay the expenses incident to the meeting, Citizen Wheeler proposed, Citizen Dell seconded, that 12s. be voted for that purpose. Carried unanimously.

Citizen Jung read a long letter from Geneva giving a long account of the progress they are making and asking when the Congress would assemble and what questions would be laid before it.[101]

A discussion took place regarding the Congress and the question was referred to the Sub-Committee.

Citizen Dupont [here a clipping from The Bee-Hive, No. 192, June 17, 1865, is pasted into the Minute Book] laid upon the table the first copy of the Tribune Ouvriere,[102] a new working men’s paper started at Paris, owned, managed and edited exclusively by working men. One of the Association’s. correspondents was its publisher. He also acknowledged the receipt of some of the required information concerning the finance of tulle manufacture in England, which he would forthwith forward to the tullistes of Lyons now on strike.

Citizen Holtorp [the words “Citizen Holtorp” are in handwriting] announced that a Working Men’s Association had been founded among the Polish emigrants in London for the purpose of affording aid and information to their countrymen, who were now constantly arriving here from the Continent. [the newspaper clipping ends here]

The President introduced the question of Citizen Wolff returning his card to the Council. He had met Citizen Wolff who expressed regret that he had so returned his card and he, the President, thought the Council ought now to send Citizen Wolff back his card.

A long discussion took place on the question and the following resolution and amendment were submitted on the question:

Resolution proposed by Wheeler, seconded by Citizen Fox: That Citizen Wolff’s card be returned to him.

Amendment by Citizen Jung, seconded by Citizen Kaub:

That when any member returns his card to the Council that he cannot again have that card; but if he wishes to join again he must take out a new card.

Rider proposed by Dell, seconded by Holtorp: That the Secretary write to Citizen Wolff stating that he can have his card by asking for it.

Votes for resolution — 3
Amendment — 10
Rider — 4

The Council then adjourned to June 20th.

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

Central Council Meeting
June 20, 1865

The minutes are in Cremer’s hand on p. 58 of the Minute Book.

Vice-President Eccarius in the chair.

The minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed.

The Secretary read a letter from G. Bagnagatti, the Secretary of the Italian Working Men’s Association in London, informing the Central Council that Citizen L. Wolff had been appointed by said Association as their representative on the Central Council.[103]

Citizen Fox proposed, Citizen Weston seconded, that Citizen L. Wolff be accepted as the representative [here four lines are pasted over with a new text] of the Working Men’s Association. Carried unanimously.

Citizen Dupont read a letter from St. Denis asking for 300 cards of membership, also requests from 4 places for permission to open branches of the Association.

The following were elected foreign corresponding secretaries: Citizen Talbot of Caen, Citizen Ferdinand Duhamel of Lisieux, Citizen Ferret of Pantin, Citizen Bosc of St. Denis. Proposed by Citizen Marx, seconded by Citizen Weston. [The insert ends here]

The Council having had their attention called to the frequent absence of the Financial Secretary, [Whitlock] agreed to refer the question to the Sub-Committee.

Citizen Jung stated that having had occasion to visit the Silk Weavers’ Society, he had introduced the principles of the International Working Men’s Association, and he believed they would join.

Citizen Fox thought we ought to take immediate steps to increase our means of propagandism.

The Secretary thought it would be well to defer the question for a few weeks, the declaration of enrolment for societies would then be ready.[104]

Citizen Marx then read a part of his paper in reply to Citizen Weston’s propositions on the question of wages.[105]

Citizen Weston thought that in the part of the paper read by Citizen Marx, that nothing had been advanced or proved which in any way affected the principles he affirmed.

Citizen Cremer thought Citizen Marx had given two or three practical illustrations or rather facts which completely destroyed the positions affirmed by Citizen Weston.

The question was adjourned till June 27th at 9 o'clock. Citizen Marx will then read the latter part of his paper and propose a series of counter-resolutions.

Citizen Fox reported the result of his and Citizen Jung’s interview in the presence of Citizen Le Lubez with the members of the Greenwich branch. The reasons for the delay which had occurred in acknowledging their representation having been explained, the branch [in a] resolution expressed their satisfaction with the explanation and thanked the deputation for their attendance.

The Council then adjourned to June 27th.

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

Meeting of Central Council
June 27, 1865

The minutes are in Cremer’s hand on pp. 59-60 of the Minute Book.

Vice-President Eccarius in the chair.

The minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed.

The report of the Sub-Committee was given by the Secretary. They recommended that as Citizen Whitlock, the Financial Secretary, was so often absent, that another citizen be elected in his stead.

Citizen Whitlock having explained the cause of his absence and stated that he might possibly have shortly to resign, it was agreed to waive any further discussion on the point until after the present quarter’s accounts had been audited.

Citizen Fox called the attention of the Council to a point of order at a previous sitting: the President had allowed two amendments at the same time to be put to a resolution[106]; this he, Citizen Fox, contended was out of order and in this opinion he was fortified by the opinion of an eminent authority which he quoted. Said authority laid it down as a rule that there can be but one amendment at a time to one resolution; when that is disposed of, another may then be proposed.

Citizen Dupont read a letter from Citizen Lisieux accepting the position as corresponding secretary and asking for 500 cards. Letter also from Citizen Ferdinand Duhamel [an inaccuracy in the minutes. Lisieux is a town in the Department of Calvados, France, where F. Duhamel was the Association’s correspondent] also accepting position as corresponding secretary; another letter from Citizen Ferret of Pantin also accepting position as corresponding secretary. He asked for cards but stated that he did not expect to make many members just now as there was a dearth of employment and consequent distress amongst the workmen, but when prosperity returned he believed members would join the Association.

Citizen Marx then, after recapitulating the principal points in the first part of his paper which he had read at the last sitting, proceeded to read the latter part,[107] at the conclusion of which Citizen Cremer said there were many who would like to have both papers — of Citizen Weston and Citizen Marx’s reply — printed,[108] but he hardly knew how the expense was to be met.

Citizen Weston questioned the correctness of the statement contained in Citizen Marx’s paper having reference to agricultural labourers.

On the motion of Citizen Eccarius the debate was adjourned to the next sitting to be opened by Citizen Eccarius.

The Council then adjourned to July 4th.

J. G. ECCARIUS, President
W. R. CREMER, Honorary General Secretary