Founding Conference of the
On The Molinier Group
A Statement by the International Secretariat
1. Negotiations have recently been conducted by a special commission of the IS with a delegation from the PCI (Molinier group) [Parti Communiste Internationaliste] on the basis of a formal letter from this group requesting admission to the Fourth International. These negotiations have been broken off because of the refusal of the PCI to give a categorical answer to the specific propositions submitted to them by the IS, in particular to the most important and unalterable proposition the unconditional elimination of R. Molinier from any participation in the French section of the Fourth International.
2. It must be recalled that the said R. Molinier was expelled by the International Conference of 1936 for conduct completely incompatible with membership in a proletarian revolutionary organization, namely, for attempting to use money obtained by dubious means to impose his personal control over the organization.
3. When, in connection with the recently concluded world conference, the PCI again approached the Fourth International and formulated a request for admission, it was decided by the responsible bodies of the Fourth International to clarify this question once and for all, bringing to its solution a clear and loyal desire to bring the matter to a positive conclusion. In order to carry out the necessary negotiations and prevent any dilatory maneuvers, the IS decided to present a precise seven point resolution containing the conditions for the fusion of the two organizations.
4. Preliminary attempts of the Molinier group to engage the International Secretariat in a “general discussion” were repulsed by the demand for a precise statement of their attitude to the Fourth International and to the decisions of its conferences and its discipline. Thereupon the delegation of the PCI handed in a formal letter asking admission and declaring readiness to observe discipline.
5. The International Secretariat replied to this letter in a special resolution as follows:
The IS having received the PCI’s letter dated September 14, requesting its admission into the ranks of the Fourth International, proposes that the question be solved in the following way:
(1) The members of the PCI shall be immediately admitted into the P01 (French section of the Fourth International), without any delay.
(2) The members of the PCI shall receive adequate representation in the Central Committee and the Political Bureau of the POI before the congress.
(3) The basis for unification is provided by the decisions of the International Conference, which are obligatory for all members of the Fourth International.
(4) The personal case of R. Molinier having been decided by the International Conference in 1936, decisions which have not been changed or modified by the Conference of 1938, he remains completely outside the unified French section.
(5) As affiliated members of the POI, the present members of the PCI shall have full right to participate in the coming convention of the P01 and in the preparation and discussions which precede it.
(6) The organizational details of the fusion should be arranged by the enlarged Central Committee of the P01 (including the representation of the present members of the PCI), under the control of the International Secretariat.
(7) All other questions of political or organizational divergences should be solved within the framework of the unified French section, in accordance with the normal rules which apply therein.
(Resolution adopted by the IS at the session of September 16, 1938)
6. In the first formal meeting of the delegation of the IS with representatives of the PCI, the latter expressed fears of reprisals against their members in the unified French section. To provide assurances on this question the delegation of the IS expressed in writing its readiness to add an eighth point to the resolution as follows:
(8) Once the resolution of the IS is accepted by the PCI, the IS declares itself opposed to the taking of disciplinary measures against any comrade on the basis of past disputes.
Trent, Legrand, Lebrun, Busson.
Sept. 18, 1938. 144
7. In the subsequent discussion it became perfectly clear that point 4 (the elimination of H. Molinier) was the only real point at issue. A request was made by the PCI delegation for official assurances regarding his possible future readmission. This was categorically refused on the ground that the IS is without power to alter a decision of the International Conference, and that the exclusion of H. Molinier is unconditional.
(American comrades of the IS delegation stated on their own responsibility that if H. Molinier’loy ally accepted the decision in his case, withdrew himself from all participation, directly or indirectly, in the affairs of the French section and made a radical change in his personal activities and conduct under these conditions they would personally support a future reexamination of his personal case by the International organization and personally aid his eventual rehabilitation. It was emphasized by the American comrades that their declaration expressed a personal sentiment which they would ordinarily display toward any comrade sincerely striving to rectify his conduct, but that their declaration had and could have no official character.)
8. The negotiations foundered on this point The delegation of the PCI refused to give a categorical answer to the resolution of the IS and proposed merely to accept it as a ’basis for discussion.” Thereupon negotiations, which manifestly offered no prospects of fruitful results, were broken off. It is clearer than ever that the whole question of the PCI and the journal La Commune has no political significance, but is purely and simply the personal question of H. Molinier and his financial affairs. Now, as before, the door of the Fourth International remains open, with full assurance of normal democratic rights, to the rank and file members of the PCI who are ready to accept the resolutions and decisions of its international conference and accept discipline. The door is closed to H. Molinier.
Last updated on 11.5.2005