The International Workingmen's Association, 1872

The Hague Congress

Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Alliance Society

Translated: by Richard Dixon & Alex Miller, for Progress Publishers, 1976.
Transcribed: by
Published: in Brussels newspaper La Liberté September 15, 1872, which also carried a report on the Congress and Bulletin de la Fédération jurassienne, September 15-October 4, 1872.

Text in Lucain's handwriting on three pages;
Submitted to the Congress on September 7, 1872.

On October 6, 1872, the same newspaper printed the Spanish delegates' protest against the way in which they had been described in the report. Following this, Lucain, a member of the Investigation Commission, write to the editors of the paper informing them of the unsatifactory way in which they had published the report and of the slanderous nature of the Spanish delegates' letter.

In the issue of October 20, 1872, the editors of La Liberté published this letter together with the official report of the Investigation Commission, which fully corresponds to the manuscript that has been preserved. Different readings in these texts are given in footnotes.

As the Commission of Inquiry has not had time to present you with a complete report, it can only supply you with an evaluation based on the documents communicated to it and on the statements which it has received.

After having heard citizens Engels, Karl Marx, Wróblewski, Dupont, Serraillier and Swarm for the Prosecution [Liberté has "Association" instead of "Prosecution"]

And citizens Guillaume, Schwitzguébel, Zhukovsky, Morago, Marselau and Farga Pellicer, accused of belonging to the Alliance secret society,

The commission announces:

1. That the secret Alliance founded on the basis of rules completely opposed to those of the International Working Men's Association, has existed, but it has not been sufficiently proved to the commission that it still exists.

2. That it has been proved, by draft rules and by letters signed "Bakunin", that this citizen has attempted, perhaps successfully, to found in Europe a society [Liberté has "secret society"] called the Alliance, with rules completely at variance, from the social and political point of view, with those of the International Working Men's Association.

3. That Citizen Bakunin has resorted to dishonest dealings with the aim of appropriating the whole or part of another person's property, which constitutes an act of fraud.

Furthermore, in order to avoid fulfilling his obligations, he or his agents have resorted to intimidation.

On these grounds:

The citizen-members of the commission request that the Congress:

1. Should expel Citizen Bakunin from the International Working Men's Association.

2. Should likewise expel citizens Guillaume and Schwitzguébel, being convinced that they still belong to a society [Liberté has "secret society founded by Bakunin"] called Alliance.

3. Since, during the course of the inquiry, it has been proved to us that citizens Malon, Bousquet -- the latter being secretary to the Police Commissioner for Béziers (France) -- and Louis Marchand, who has been residing at Bordeaux, France, have all been guilty of acts aimed at the disorganisation of the International Working Men's Association, the commission likewise demands their expulsion from the Association.

4. As regards citizens Morago, Farga Pellicer, Marselan, Alerini and Zhukovsky, the commission, bearing in mind their formal statements that they no longer belong to the said [Liberté has "secret"] Alliance society, requests that the Congress should consider them not implicated in the matter.

To ensure their responsibility, the members of the commission request that the documents which have been communicated to them, as also the statements made, should be published by them in the official organ of the Association.

Chairman Th. F. Cuno (delegate for Stuttgart and Düsseldorf)
Secretary Lucain (delegate for France)
Members of the commission Paul Vichard (delegate for France)

The Hague, in the commission,
September 7, 1872

[Splingard's statement is inserted by him after the signatures of the other members of the commission. -- Ed.]

I object to the report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Alliance, and I reserve the right to give my reasons before the Congress. Only one thing, in my opinion, has been established at the debate, and that is Mr. Bakunin's attempt to organise a secret society within the International.

As for the expulsions proposed by the majority of the Commission of Inquiry, I state that I cannot give my views as a member of the said commission without having received a mandate on this matter. I announce my intention of opposing the commission before the Congress.

Roch Splingard

The members of the Commission inform the Congress that Citizen Walter has felt it necessary to send a letter this morning to the chairman of the commission.

In this letter, he apologises for not being able to continue taking part in the commission's work owing to circumstances beyond his control.

Chairman: Th. F. Cuno
Secretary: Lucain
Members: Roch Splingard, Paul Vichard