International Working Men’s Association

The Minute Book of the General Council
April 1866

Central Council Meeting
April 3

The minutes are in Shaw’s hand on pp. 115-17 of the Minute Book.

Citizen Eccarius in the chair, Citizen Shaw Secretary pro tem.

The minutes of the previous meeting having been read and slightly altered, were confirmed.

The President then said that before acting on the resolution of the Council with respect to the tailors’ strike, he had waited on the Tailors’ Executive Committee who informed him that they had written to Germany. Consequently, he considered that there was no necessity for him to proceed any further in the matter.

Citizen Jung said that since the last meeting he had had an interview with the Tailors’ Executive Committee and the result was an expression of kind feeling towards the Association and a promise to join it.

Citizen Dupont read a letter from correspondent De Marckel of Granville in Department of Manche, stating that he had enrolled 30 members and that he wished to have Citizen Madiot appointed as correspondent for the town Rennes in the Department of Ille-et-Vilaine.

It was then proposed by Citizen Dupont and seconded by Citizen Jung that Citizen Madiot be appointed correspondent for Rennes.

Citizen Jung read correspondence from the Lausanne branch, whose members are the most active and practical in Switzerland, stating that they have for some time past been discussing the propriety of building working men’s houses in Lausanne on the plan of those erected in Guise in France; they had agreed upon a scheme for raising the money and wished to have their plan discussed at the Congress.[186]

He also read two letters: one from Citizen Becker and the other from Citizen Dupleix, both reminding the Central Council that the date fixed for the assembling of Congress was drawing nigh and complaining that for months past the Central Council had given no signs of life. They observed that, if the inactivity continued much longer, it would be fatal to the Association. They asked a number of questions and required answers immediately: 1st, the precise date of the opening of Congress; 2nd, how the expenses of the delegates were to be defrayed; and other questions of an administrative kind. They wished the Central Council to issue a circular in the different languages, clearly setting forth the questions to be discussed at Congress.

Citizen Hales said that the Coventry Ribbon and Smallwares Weavers’ Association were desirous of joining our Association. They numbered 1,000 members.

It was then proposed by Citizen Hales and seconded by Citizen Le Lubez:

That the Coventry Ribbon and Smallwares Weavers’ Association, held at the Elephant and Castle, Hill Fields, Coventry, be admitted as an affiliated branch of the Association. Carried nem. con.

The Standing Committee having recommended that the appeal to working men for funds for the expenses of the Congress be sent out immediately, President Eccarius was appointed to send them out and Citizen Buckley was appointed to draw two pounds from the Treasurer to purchase postage stamps with.

A letter from Citizen Wolff was read stating that he should bring certain matters before the Council on the 10th instant.

A letter from Citizen Cremer was read stating that on the 10th instant. he should state the course he intended to pursue in relation to the Association.

Cash statement: received 1s. 1d. from Citizen Wolff; is. from John Jenkins, 6, Little Dean Street; 1s. from R. Kelly, 36, Little Pulteney Street; 5s. from the Coventry weavers, making a total of 8s. 1d.

The meeting then adjourned to April 10th.

[unsigned]

Council Meeting
April 10, 1866

The minutes are in Shaw’s hand on pp. 118-19 of the Minute Book.

Citizen Fox in the chair, Citizen Shaw Secretary pro tem.

Members present: Citizens Hraybe, Werecki, Hansen, Williams, Bobczynski, Hales, Carter, Lafargue, Dupont, Jung, Le Lubez, Marx, Lessner, Eccarius, and Buckley.

The minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed.

Citizen Jung proposed and Citizen Dupont seconded Citizen James Trani as a member of the Council.

Citizen Lessner proposed and Citizen Hraybe seconded Citizen Maurice as a member of the Council.

After some discussion, it was proposed by Citizen Dupont and seconded by Citizen Jung: That a deputation be sent to the Tailors’ Executive Committee.

It was then proposed by Citizen Shaw and seconded by Citizen Le Lubez: that Citizens Dupont, Fox, and Jung do wait upon the Tailors’ Executive Committee at the Green Dragon, King Street, Golden Square.

Citizen Jung read extracts from the journal L'Association chiefly referring to the coming Congress.[187]

The President having expressed an opinion with regard to the financial position of the Council, it was proposed by Citizen Jung and seconded by Citizen Marx: That Citizens Shaw and Le Lubez do wait upon Citizen Cremer for the purpose of getting a statement or the books.

The President then reported that the West End Women’s Bootmakers’ Society had granted one pound for the use of the Council and that they had proposed Citizen Odger as a delegate to Congress, but he had advised that the subject should be dealt with by the Amalgamated Cordwainers’ Society.

After a lengthy discussion, it was proposed [by] Citizen Jung and seconded by Citizen Dupont:

That the Congress do assemble on the first Monday in June next and that the sitting of Congress extend five days.

Citizen Eccarius said that since the last meeting he had sent the appeals of the Council to the following societies, viz., the Amalgamated Cordwainers, the Amalgamated Carpenters and Joiners, the Operative Bricklayers and to the London and Manchester branches of the Amalgamated Engineers, etc. He also said that not having a sufficient number of subscription-sheets he had got 100 extra printed.

The letter addressed to the Council on April 3rd by Citizen Wolff was read by the President but no action upon it.

The meeting then adjourned to April 17th.

[unsigned]

Council Meeting
April 17, 1866

The minutes are in Shaw’s hand on pp. 119-21 of the Minute Book.

Citizen Odger in the chair, Citizen Shaw Secretary pro tem.

Members present: Citizens Fox, Cremer, Carter, Weston, Le Lubez, Coulson, Buckley, Wolff, Marx, Lessner, Hraybe, Maurice, Jung, Dupont, Eccarius, and Lafargue.

The minutes of the previous meeting were read and after a slight alteration were confirmed on the motion of Citizen Jung, [seconded] by Citizen Marx.

Citizens Maurice and Trani were unanimously elected members of the Central Council.

Mr. Burry said he was deputed by the Executive Committee of Tailors’ Association to inform the Council that their association had decided upon joining our Association and that at their special meeting in May a vote of money would be proposed for the use of the Council. He also tendered the thanks of their association for the services rendered during their late struggle.

On the motion of Citizen Jung, the Tailors’ Association was admitted as a branch of our Association.

Citizen Marx reported that he had received 3.0.0 from Germany for members’ cards, which he paid to the Financial Secretary. [Dell]

Citizens Weston and Jung were deputed to attend the Plasterers’ Committee on Thursday evening next in Leather Lane.

Citizens Odger and Cremer were deputed to wait upon the City Women’s Shoemakers at the Bell Inn, Old Bailey.

A letter was read from Hartlepool by the Financial Secretary which he had replied to by sending the Laws of the Association.

On the motion of Citizen Dupont, seconded by Citizen Lafargue, Citizens Prudhomme and Buzon were elected correspondents for Bordeaux.

Citizen Cremer said he was now prepared to resume his duties as secretary until the Congress and that he should be ready with his financial statement on next meeting night.

Citizens Fox, Le Lubez, and Coulson were elected to audit the accounts on Tuesday next at 6 o'clock precisely.

Citizen Wolff then renewed the subject which had been discussed on the 6th of March by the Council, and read a letter from Citizen Fontana to strengthen his view of the matter.

A long discussion then took place in which Citizens Odger, Marx, Jung, Cremer, Fox, Le Lubez, Weston, Shaw [participated and] which ended, after mutual explanations had been given, with the following resolution proposed by Citizen Marx and seconded by Citizen Dupont:

That Citizen Longuet do translate the resolution passed by the Council on the 6th of March and forward the same for publication to the Echo de Verviers.

The meeting then adjourned to April 24th.

[unsigned]

Meeting of Central Council
April 24, 1866

The minutes are in Cremer’s hand on pp. 121-22 of the Minute Book.

Citizen Dell in the chair.

The minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed.

The Chairman asked Citizen Shaw if he was willing to resign the office of secretary pro tem., which he had filled for some weeks.[188]

Citizen Shaw said he was.

Citizen Cremer said he was quite willing to stand aside to make way for Citizen Shaw.

Several members spoke on the question, and ultimately it was agreed on the proposition of Citizen Shaw, seconded by Citizen Eccarius, that Citizen Cremer resume his duties as secretary.

Mr. B. Patis, delegate from the wire-workers, attended to thank the Council for the efforts which they had put forth to prevent their employers getting workmen from the Continent to supply the places of the men on strike. He also stated the wire-workers would join the Association.[189]

Jung read letter from Dujonquoy asking for the balance of his account. Ordered to be paid.

Citizen Jung read letter from Dupleix and Becker urging the necessity for the postponement of the Congress to the last week in September. They also announced that the Central Committee of the Italian societies had given in their adhesion to the principles of the Association and stated they would have a central gathering in June when the necessity for joining the Association and sending delegates to the Congress would be discussed and decided.[190]

Citizen Trani suggested that Citizen Jung should enquire of Citizens Becker and Dupleix what the Italian societies were who had so expressed themselves and where they were located.

Jung proposed, Wheeler seconded, that Citizen Dupont write to Paris urging on the Paris Administration the necessity of postponing the Congress. Carried unanimously.

The Secretary [Cremer] brought up the report of the Standing Committee. Their first recommendation was the reprint of the Address and Statutes.

Jung proposed, Wheeler seconded, that Citizen Leno be asked to print 1,000 more copies of [the] Address and Rules.[191] Carried unanimously.

The President read credentials from the Tailors’ Protective Association stating that Citizen Burry had been deputed by that body to represent them on the Central Council.

Citizens Eccarius and Wheeler proposed that Citizen Burry be accepted as the tailors’ representative on the Central Council. Carried unanimously.

The further consideration of the propositions from the Standing Committee was postponed till the next sitting.

The Council then adjourned.

J. CARTER, President Pro tem.