Dora B. Montefiore
Source: From a Victorian to a Modern, Chapter 11; Daily Herald, Nov 27, 1912; Justice 30 November 1912; Daily Herald 4 December 1912; Daily Herald 7 December 1912; Justice 7 December 1912; British Socialist 15 December 1912;
Transcribed: Ted Crawford
HTML Markup: Brian Reid
The following public exchange gives the background to Montefiore’s break with Hyndman and her political positions.—transcriber’s note. ERC
The following three short articles were the reports on the Basle Conference to which Hyndman took such objection.
The following extract is from From a Victorian to a Modern, Chapter 11.
“On my return to London I gave the Daily Herald an account of the Congress, emphasising what a fiasco I considered it was from the point of view of making clear to capitalist Governments that there was solidarity in the great Socialist International Movement, even to the point of using direct action in case of war being declared. At the next Executive Meeting of the British Socialist Party, at which I and another comrade had to report on the Basle Congress, Comrade Hyndman, with whom and his wife I had had a long-standing friendship, made a violent attack on me for my action at the Congress, and for writing to the Daily Herald about what went on there, and for criticising the terms of the Manifesto. I replied, restating my grounds for what I had done in the interests of the international proletariat; and he then and there dictated to the Secretary of the Int. Soc. Party a letter, as coming from the B.S.P. Executive, congratulating the International Bureau on the success of the Congress, and on the terms of the Manifesto. As Hyndman’s will appeared to be supreme in the Executive, there was nothing for me to do but resign, and on reaching home I wrote a letter resigning from the Executive of the B.S.P., and from the Party.”
Daily Herald, Nov 27, 1912, p.3, (1,429 words)
In the town of Basle, the second largest town of Switzerland, there met on November 24, over 500 delegates from most of the countries of the world. To the honour of France, let it be recorded that she alone sent 120 while Germany and Austria between them sent 145. The British delegacy was not a large one, but the shortness of notice made it difficult for us, and impossible for the Americans, to be largely represented. The assembly of delegates, both outside and inside the hall of meeting, was remarkable because of its cosmopolitan character and picturesqueness. Fur caps from the Steppes of Russia, a Japanese in heavy winter overcoat; dark-eyed Bulgarians, Roumanians and Spaniards; fair types from Holland and Denmark; the hum of a dozen different languages; the flashes of scarlet ribbon on breast or arm: all the stir, all the vivacity, all the subtly expressed solidarity of a Socialist international gathering gave the old paved streets of Basle this Sunday morning an air of purposeful activity.
Inside the Congress Hall a male choir gave a song of solidarity; the walls were decked with palm branches of peace and the president of the Swiss National Party gave the delegates a welcome. Then Anseele made a stirring appeal, pointing out that the aim of the Congress was to keep the peace of the world, not only in the present crisis but in the future, whilst the proletarians of the world must no longer be taken by surprise, as the have been lately, but must be prepared to say to each of the Powers that threaten each other: “We, the Proletarians in every country are united: we will no longer fight in the interests and in the wars of capitalism”.
At two o’clock a mass demonstration of Socialist men, women and childen paraded the town, and on arrival in the Cathedral, hundreds pressed into the ancient building to hear the official orators of the Party hold forth from the pulpit. I was with my comrade, Clara Zetkin, and we were shown into reserved seats; but the influence of the place and of the symbols surrounding us were, to me, so painful as symbolising the old martyrdom and calvary under the ignorance enforced by clericalism, that I felt I should suffocate if I did not get out. I found eager crowds outside waiting to hear the speakers from the various open-air platforms; and was enabled to give in French to an immense crowd at Platform 3, a message of solidarity from the Socialists of Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, who if their continental comrades decree a general strike, will do their best to organise in their various countries a responsive general strike, which shall be the workers declaration of “War against war” and the beginning of the revolution which it is the historic mission of the people to bring about. Keir Hardie and Dan Irving spoke from other platforms and the strains of the “Internationale” echoed round the old square in the centre of which stands the Cathedral.
DORA B. MONTEFIORE
I have just witnessed an imposing spectacle in the Cathedral of this quaint old city, namely an international demonstration in favour of peace. Flying red flag and singing revolutionary hymns, an army of Socialists marched into the cathedral. The bells were pealing from their towers, the organ was thundering forth an anthem, and over the magnificent altar a white figure of the Christ stretched forth both his arms as if to welcome the men and women who came to preach peace on earth.
Germans, French, Austrians and Bulgarians spoke in turn. Jaurès, the French socialist leader, made a fine speech. He said: “I seem to hear in the sweet music of these cathedral bells a hymn of peace. …. The Christians who have allowed us to use the church have thus warned the evil Christians who support war because of their egoism ….
“I weep for the countless dead in the Near East and will endeavour to break up the menace of war now hanging over us”.
As I write this a band is coming back from the Cathedral playing “La Marsellaise” and it seems quite meet and right that the fierce old anthem should now be converted to the use of those who war on war.
When sending you my previous report. I purposely refrained from sending any synopsis of the manifesto submitted to the Congress because no authorised draft had been laid before the delegates. A more or less mangled version had been shown to some of us by our national representatives on the Bureau, and the Press immediately got possession of these incomplete drafts and cabled the contents to their various papers.
I wish to enter in the columns of the HERALD a protest against the way this important and far-reaching manifesto was forced upon the delegates without their having seen it in their own languages, and practically without discussion. As it was evidently the intention of the Bureau from the beginning to draft this manifesto themselves without interference from the Congress, and then, through the power of officialdom get the Congress to register their decision, they might just as well have left us each in our own country and not have put the workers to the expense of sending us to Basle.
Its Soul is Shrunken.
When the Congress met yesterday morning President Greilich, of the Swiss National Party, announced that since the International met in the same town 43 years ago its body, which at that time was small, had grown to millions, and its soul had also grown in proportion, but I assert that its soul of revolt has shrunk and grown atrophied under the procure of organised bureaucracy which has struck more than one deadly blow at democratic expression and control.
On Sunday evening the English delegation met hurriedly in Mr. Keir Hardie’s hotel to consider for the first time the resolution which was only then in part translated from the German. Needless to say, the majority of the English delegation had but little conception after this meeting of the contents and significance of the manifesto. No official translator was supplied, and we of the delegacy who spoke German were pressed into the service to complete the translation. I had no objection to helping on Sunday but I did seriously object to be doing translations on Monday during the all-too-short session of Congress.
When I rose after the president’s opening speech to a point of order, I was not allowed to put it. My point was that no delegate had yet seen the manifesto, and it was not a democratic proceeding to force it upon us at such short notice and without the possibility on our part of intelligent consideration. Eventually Jaures read it in French, Adler in German and Keir Hardie gave a synopsis of it in English.
The Congress was then told that, as the Austrian Government had mobilised 300,000 of its reserves (which probably meant war with Servia and other complications), the Austrians wished to return to their own country that evening. The Congress would be shortened by one day, and would consequently adjourn that evening.
The chairman opened the afternoon’s proceedings by asking the Congress to vote that all changes in the resolution proposed by an individual delegate should be ruled out of order. This was a further muzzling of democracy; and the next order from the chair was that only the national representatives on the bureau should be allowed to speak during the afternoon sitting.
The manifesto was carried at 4.30. 1 sent up my name to Mr. Keir Hardie, who on the platform was the representative of our national section and asked for permission to speak for the B.S.P. No notice was taken of my application, and I was not even vouchsafed a reply. I therefore did not vote for the manifesto. I will write in a separate article my reasons for wishing to speak and the substance of my speech.
A resolution of solidarity with our comrades Giovannitti and Ettor, who were to be tried to-day was carried with acclamation and the Congress rose in token of sympathy with the 24 French miners killed on Saturday while at work. A speech from Bebel closed the proceedings
DORA B. MONTEFIORE.
From Justice 30 November 1912, p.5 (925 words)
A number of Socialists whose acquaintance with churches and cathedrals is limited to some knowledge of their architectural features; attended a very live service last Sunday at the beautiful and quaint Cathedral of Basel—“built in dead days by hands a long time dead,” for its construction dates from the eleventh century, and they were edified by discourses delivered from its pulpit by Adler, Jaurès, and other representative speakers from some half dozen European countries. Perhaps the most venerable and interesting visage of all those which faced the dense congregation at St. Martin’s was that of our valued Swiss comrade Greulich, who is one of the few surviving links between the Old and the New International. Of all the delegates who are attending the Basel Congress of 1912, he is probably the only one who was present at that of 1869 in the same town. Though he is now in his eighties, he retains much of the physical vigour he displayed in the organisation of the Zurich Congress of 1893, where many members of the S.D.F. first met him, and his earnest and eloquent address testified that age has in no way impaired his intellectual faculties. Our comrade Hyndman once said that when the Social Revolution was effected the only reward he would claim for his services in helping to promote it would be permission to preach the first Socialist sermon in Westminster Abbey. Had he been able to attend the Basel Congress, his ambition might have been in some measure gratified, without waiting the advent of the Revolution, for he would certainly have been chosen as one of the speakers from the pulpit of Basel Protestant Cathedral, which, being under the control of an enlightened municipal authority, was gracefully granted to the Socialists as the most fitting edifice to hold a meeting convened to protest against war, and Dr. Blocher, President of the Basler Government, welcomed the Congress in an opening speech from the cathedral pulpit. The building, which is estimated to hold 5,000 people, was crowded, and a still larger audience was addressed from four platforms erected in the Cathedral Square. Its cheers reached the ears of the congregation assembled within walls, but did not disturb its devotions.
The Congress was opened on Sunday morning by an address from comrade Wullschleger, who welcomed the delegates in the name of several Swiss and Basler organisations, and our comrade Anseele made an eloquent response on behalf of the International Bureau.
The chair was taken on Monday by comrade Greulich, who in his opening speech gave some reminiscences of the Basel Congress of 1869, when the “Times” described the International as “a big soul in a small body.” The morning was taken up almost entirely by Jaurès and Adler, who, each of them, read in extenso a manuscript copy—one in German the other in French—of the manifesto, which exceeds 3,000 words, printed copies of which were not delivered to the delegates till the close of the morning sitting. As a result of “clergy-man’s throat” with which Adler was affected following his appearance yesterday in the cathedral pulpit his voice was scarce audible, and one was struck with the absurdity of inflicting it upon the Congress seeing that the Austrian delegation number 59, and any one of the other 58 whose lungs were in good order could have read aloud the manifesto without distressing either himself or his audience. But our comrade Adler is one of those “veterans” of the movement who imagine that the proceedings of an International Congress would be abortive if they did not monopolise the conduct of its affairs, even to the extent of displaying their abilities as elocutionists.
The manifesto is unduly verbose, but it should serve a useful purpose if only because it assigns to the Socialist Party of each European country its particular task. It calls upon the Social-Democracy of the Balkans to set themselves to work to prevent the results gained by such terrible sacrifices from being confiscated either dynasties, by militarism, or by the Balkan bourgeoisie, and to prevent, if possible, any recrudescence of old animosities between Serbs, Bulgars, Roumanians, and Greeks, as well as any oppressions of Balkan people who are to-day in the other camp—namely, Turks and Albanians.
It is the duty of Socialists of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy to continue their energetic opposition to any attack upon Servia, and in co-operation with Italian Socialists to pay particular attention to the Albanian question, for Albanian Autonomy must not be sacrificed to Austro-Hungarian and Italian ambitions.
The Congress counts upon the industrial and agricultural proletariat of Russia, Finland and Poland using its increasing strength to tear the veil of falsehood from a Czarism which poses as a Liberator of Balkan peoples, and which is only a hypocritical pretext to reconquer its preponderance in the Balkans. Czarism is the hope of all the forces of reaction in Europe, and the most terrible enemy of democracy, as it is of the Russian people.
But the most important task in international action rests with the workers of Germany, France and England, who must persistently call upon their Governments to refuse to lend any countenance to Austro-Hungarian and Russian schemes of aggrandisement. The workers must not permit secret diplomacy to entangle them in the Balkan conflict.
Twenty-three nations were represented at the Congress by 555 delegates, of which France sent 120, Germany 75, Bohemia 76, Austria 59. Even Russia and Poland each sent more than the 13 delegates who represented Great Britain.
From Daily Herald 4 December 1912, p.8. (words) [Dan Irving was a prominent B.S.P. member and an associate of Hyndman’s.—Note by transcriber]
Referring to Mrs. D.B. Montefiore’s strictures on the recent international Congress proceedings, I feel compelled to say that, to me, they appear to be far from fair. For instance, whatever the Bureau decided upon, as being, in their opinion, the best course to pursue, was brought to the Congress itself for ratification or otherwise; hence it is of the Congress, and not of the Bureau, that complaint should be made, if at all.
Neither do I think it just that Mrs. M. should speak of “Mr. Keir Hardie’s hotel (the most expensive in the town)” in the way she does. I, too, was at the same hotel, and certainly the hotel was not one of my seeking; neither do I expect that Hardie had any more to do with being there than had I. There was a request made to members of the Bureau that they should send on their time of arrival, etc., as it was thought desirous that all Bureau members should be located in the same hotel. The local committee made the arrangements, and we were simply told which hotel we were to go to, and knew nothing as to whether it was an expensive one or otherwise.
I, too, as probably many others, had points of difference with the Bureau. All the same, when you recollect that over 500 delegates (rebels of all lands against authority) accepted the Bureau recommendations without protest, except that of Mrs. M., which was offered in the wrong place; and that the resolution agreed to by the special committee (appointed to draw up the same) and the International Socialist Bureau, was passed with acclamation, I think it will be conceded that such strictures as “high-handed and bureaucratic proceedings on the part of those who have once more climbed into power on the shoulders of the workers,” etc., loses all point, except it be in exhibit the not very charitable frame of mind possessing Mrs. M. when she wrote her article for your issue of November 29.
When one comes think that the Congress was convened at such short notice, and that so many more delegates arrived than could have been expected notice such circumstances, one might to be ready to condone much that at other times would naturally meet with reprobation. I have no hesitation in saying—despite personal opinions of my own as to how the Congress’s might have been managed more successfully—that the congress was a success in that it did, and did splendidly, what it was convened to do, i.e., to demonstrate the solidarity of the organised working class movement of all lands in their declaration of hostility to militarism and capitalism from which it springs, and to avow that the workers of every country will use whatsoever powers they may posses in whatsoever way seems best to wage the “war upon war” to its final extinction by the overthrow of capitalism and the upbuilding of the Co-operative Commonwealth.
As to the alteration, not of the resolution, but of the English translation thereof, I think the whole British section were agreed—except Mrs. M.—that it was certainly not true to say that the great strikes in England were the outcome of the growth of militarism, except perhaps indirectly as a consequence of the rise in prices. They certainly were not conscious acts against bloated armaments in any sense of the word, whereas, on the Continent, such strike protests had been made.
From Daily Herald 7 December 1912, p.8. (537 words)
[The exchange about the Basle Conference. I cannot find Mr AS Dobson in the relevant issues of the Herald. Possibly it is an error for Dan Irving. If so the charge was the change in the translation. Not denied by Irving but evaded.—Note by transcriber.]
TO THE EDITOR, DAILY HERALD.
As your correspondent, Mr. A.S. Dobson, has questioned my veracity in the reports sent you of the Basle Congress, I ask for space for a reply in the columns of your paper.
As to the “spectacles of carping criticism” through which Mr. Dobson has persuaded himself that I meant to view the proceedings, it appears to me difficult to criticise prospective proceedings about which one was utterly in the dark. All I knew was that the International Socialist Bureau had called a meeting of delegates at Basle to organise a demonstration which should help to prevent the Balkan War from spreading to other countries. A most laudable object, and one in which, as an anti-militarist, I was deeply interested. I still hold the opinion that if the whole of the Sunday’s demonstration had been held in the open air under the red flag of the people’s revolt, instead of cramming a portion of the demonstrators into a cathedral, with “reserved seats” for the privileged, it would have been a more democratic and whole-souled protest on the part of the people than the sort of middle-class travesty which actually took place. But that, of course, is a matter of opinion, and I leave the facts to the judgment of the people.
As to the alterations in the English version of the manifesto issued by the Congress (which manifesto was in my humble opinion, an anti-climax) Mr. Dobson has missed the point of my rebellion, and has been too hurried in attributing to me unveracity. What I protested against at the Congress, and what I still protest against, is that neither the version of a certain paragraph in the English translation given to us a few minutes before the manifesto was put to the Congress, nor the version as it appears in the current number of “The Labour Leader,” give an accurate translation of the corresponding phrase in either the German or the French manifestoes, which were read to and passed by the Congress. The phrase I allude to, as translated from the French, reads thus: “Let them remember that the unrest provoked by the piling up of naval and military expenses has given to social conflicts in England and on the Continent an increased intensity, and has been the cause of formidable strikes.” Let all readers remark that I am not standing by the accuracy or otherwise of this statement. I am simply asserting that this is how it was passed by the Congress in the French and German versions. And it was because an accurate translation was not given of this phrase in the English version that I declined to rise in my seat when the manifesto was put. There may have been more copies of the English version of the manifesto given out later on, but the two copies given out shortly before the manifesto was put to the Congress were given us with the words: “Here’s a copy for the B.S.P. delegates and a copy for the others.” We three delegates from the B.S.P. shared our copy, and hurriedly ran through together the draft.
yours faithfully, DORA B. MONTEFIORE.
From Justice 7 December 1912
The following resolution was adopted by the International Committee of the B.S.P. at its meeting on Tuesday:—
“This meeting of the International Committee of the British Socialist Party desires to offer its heartiest congratulations to the International Socialist Bureau and the Swiss Socialist Party upon having organised the most imposing and successful International Congress of Socialists and Workers that the world has yet seen. The occasion of this magnificent demonstration—being not only to denounce all war between the people as directly opposed to the interests of the workers, but also to point out that by determined class solidarity they can put an end for ever to such abominable national antagonisms—was worthy of the men who have fallen in the movement and of the veterans who attended.
“We are glad to know that the work done, has already produced a considerable effect, and we have evidence that, in the near future, the seed sown at the Congress at Basel will develop into still more complete Socialist solidarity.”
Mrs. Montefiore sends the following:—
In consequence of my criticisms in the “Herald” of the organisation of the International Socialist Bureau at the recent Peace Congress of Basel, at which I was one of the delegates for the B.S.P., having given umbrage to the International Committee of that organisation, and having called forth certain unforgettable remarks from members of that committee, I desire, in order to dissociate publicly the B.S.P. from any compromising participation in my articles, to publicly resign from the British Socialist Party.
The following unsigned report of the Basle Congress appeared in the British Socialist 15 December 1912 pp.556-560. (1,994 words)
The International, at its Congresses at Stuttgart and Copenhagen, laid down the following principle for the war against war:—
In case of war being imminent, the working classes and their Parliamentary representatives in the countries concerned shall be bound, with the assistance of the International Socialist Bureau, to do all they can to prevent the breaking out of war, using for this purpose the means which appear to them the most efficacious, and which must naturally vary according to the acuteness of the struggle of classes, and to the general political conditions.
“In case war should break out notwithstanding, they shall be bound to intervene for its being brought to a speedy end, and to employ all their forces for utilising the economical and political crisis created by the war, in order to rouse the masses of the people and to hasten the downfall of the predominance of the capitalist class.”
Recent events have more than ever made it the duty of the proletariat to use all their energy in following out their organised action. On the one hand the mad rivalry in armaments has intensified the high prices of food, thereby increasing class distinctions and incensing the working classes. The workers want to limit this system of extravagance and consequent unrest. On the other hand the recurring threats of war are getting more and more critical. The nations of Europe are always on the point of being driven at each other without the slightest reason of real peoples’ interests for such attempts on reason and humanity.
The Balkan crisis, which is already responsible for such terrible horrors, would mean the most fearful danger for civilisation and the workers if allowed to spread. It would at the same time be the most shameful deed in the world’s history on account of the crying disproportion between the vastness, of the catastrophe and the slight importance of the interests involved.
Therefore the Congress notes with satisfaction the complete unanimity of the Socialist Parties and the trade unions of all lands in the war against war. As the workers of all lands arose simultaneously against Imperialism, each section of the International, however, opposing to its own Government the resistance of the proletariat and mobilising the public opinion of its own nation against all war-like lusts, a grand co-operation between the workers of all nations resulted, which has already contributed very much towards securing the world’s peace. The fear on the part of the ruling classes of a proletarian revolution following in the wake of a world-wide war has shown itself a considerable guarantee of peace.
The Congress, therefore, urges the Social-Democratic Parties to continue their action by all the means which appear likely to be effectual, and points out, in this common action, to each Social-Democratic, Party its special task.
The Social-Democratic Parties in the Balkan Peninsula have a difficult task. The Powers of Europe, by a systematic neglect of all reforms in Turkey, have contributed to insupportable national, economic and political conditions which necessarily led up to the war. With heroic courage the Social-Democratic Parties of the Balkans have demanded, as against the exploitation of these conditions in the interest of the dynasties and the bourgeoisie, the formation of a democratic federation. The Congress urges them to continue this admirable line of action, and believes that the Socialist Party of the Balkans will do everything after the war to prevent the fruits of the war, bought with such terrible sacrifices, being abused by, the dynasties, militarists, and capitalist classes of the Balkan States, for their own selfish interests.
Above all, the Congress invites the Balkan Socialists to oppose everything likely to lead to a renewal of the old animosities among Servians, Bulgarians, Roumanians, and Greeks, as well as to all violence against those Balkan peoples who are at present in the other camp, the Turks and the Albanians. It is the duty of the Socialists of the Balkans to fight against any oppression of these peoples, and to proclaim, as against the national Chauvinism which has been let loose, the brotherhood of all the Balkan peoples, including Turks, Albanians and Roumanians.
The Social-Democratic Party of Austria-Hungary, Croatia and Slavonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, have the duty of continuing their effectual action against an attack by the Danube monarchy on Servia, and, as hitherto, to oppose the plan of robbing Servia of the fruits of the war by force of arms, turning it into an Austrian colony, and involving the peoples of Austria-Hungary itself and all the European nations with them in the greatest danger for the sake of dynastic interests. In the same way the Social-Democratic Parties of Austria-Hungary will continue to fight in the future to secure that the portion of the South Slav people within the boundaries of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, which is ruled by the House of Habsburg, should conquer the right of democratic self-government.
Special attention has to be paid by the Social-Democratic Parties of Austria-Hungary and by the Socialists of Italy to the Albanian question. The Congress recognises the right of the Albanian people to autonomy, but protests against Albania being made, under the cloak of autonomy, the victim of the lust of dominion on the part of Austria-Hungary and Italy. The Congress sees here a danger not only for Albania itself, but a menace to peace between Austria-Hungary and Italy at no very distant time. Only as an autonomous member of a democratic Balkan Federation can Albania lead a really independent life. Therefore, the Congress calls upon the Social-Democrats of Austria-Hungary and Italy to oppose any attempt on the part of their Governments to draw Albania into their sphere of influence, and to continue their efforts towards the tightening of the peaceful relations between Austria-Hungary and Italy.
The Congress hails with great joy the protest strike of the Russian workers as a sign that the proletariat of Russia and Poland is beginning to recover from the blows dealt to it by the Czarist counter-revolution. For therein the Congress sees the strongest security against the criminal intrigues of Czarism, which, after sanguinarily crushing the peoples in its own land, and innumerable times betraying the Balkan peoples and giving them over to their enemies, now vacillates between fear of the consequences of a war for itself and fear of the pressure of a Nationalist movement that it has itself created. But if Czarism now attempts again to pose as the liberator of the Balkan nations, it is only in order to reconquer, under this hypocritical pretext, the predominance over the Balkans by bloody warfare. The Congress expects that the urban and rural proletariat of Russia, Finland and Poland, which is growing in strength, will rend this web of lies and oppose itself to every belligerent adventure of Czarism, fight against every attempt on the part of the latter whether directed against Armenia or Constantinople, and concentrate its whole force upon the renewal of the revolutionary struggle for freedom against Czarism. For Czarism, the hope of all the reactionary Powers of Europe, is the bitterest enemy of democracy, and the whole International must consider it one of its grandest tasks to lead towards liberation the peoples under its sway.
But the most important task of the International falls on the working class of Germany, France, and Great Britain to demand from their Governments an undertaking to refuse all support to either Austria or Russia, and to abstain from all intervention in the Balkan troubles, and in every respect to observe a strict neutrality. A war between the three great nations over an outlet to the sea, concerning which Austria and Servia are in dispute, would be criminal madness. The workers of Germany and France do not recognise that any secret treaties necessitate the duty of interference in the Balkan conflict.
If, however, as a consequence of the military defeat of Turkey, the downfall of the Osman power in Asia Minor became inevitable, it would be the duty of British, French, and German Socialists to oppose with all their strength the policy of conquest in Asia Minor, since the result would inevitably be a world war.
The Congress is of opinion that the greatest danger to-European peace is the artificially fostered animosity between Great Britain and Germany. The Congress, therefore, congratulates the working classes of the two countries upon their efforts to improve the situation. It believes that the best means of removing friction would be an understanding between Germany and Great Britain concerning the arrest of the increase of their respective fleets, and the suppression of the right of capture at sea. The Congress invites the Socialists of Great Britain and Germany to continue their agitation to realise this understanding.
To overcome all outstanding differences between Germany on the one side and Great Britain on the other would be to remove the greatest danger to international peace; would weaken the mighty position of Czardom now trying to strengthen itself by means of these differences, and would make impossible an attack on Servia by Austria, and would finally secure peace to the world. To this end, above all, the efforts of the international movement must be directed.
The Congress takes note of the fact that the whole International is unanimous in its principles regarding foreign policy. It urges the workers of all lands to oppose to capitalist Imperialism the international solidarity of the proletariat. It warns the ruling classes of all States against intensifying by warlike expeditions the widespread misery caused by the capitalist method of production, and emphatically demands peace. Let the Governments not forget that in the present condition of Europe and the state of mind of the working class they cannot let loose a war without danger to themselves. It must be remembered that the Franco-German War resulted in the revolutionary movement of the Commune, that the Russo-Japanese War put into motion the revolutionary movement in Russia, that the competition in naval and military armaments has in England and on the Continent increased class conflicts and caused enormous strikes. It would be madness if the Governments did not comprehend that the mere notion of a world-wide war will call forth strong indignation and protest among the workers. The latter consider it a crime to shoot each other down in the interest and for the profit of capitalism, and for the sake of dynastic ambition and of diplomatic secret treaties.
If the Governments interrupt the possibility of the normal development of the people, and thereby provoke desperate steps, they will have to take the whole responsibility for the crisis thus brought about.
The International will redouble its efforts to prevent this crisis; it will protest with an ever greater emphasis, and organise its propaganda more and more widely and energetically. Therefore, the Congress instructs the International Bureau to follow up the events with all the more attention, and, come what may, to preserve and strengthen the communication between the proletarian parties.
The proletariat is conscious of being at this moment the bearer of the whole future of humanity.
In order to prevent the destruction of the flower of all peoples, which is threatened by all the horrors of wholesale slaughter, famine and pestilence, the proletariat will put forth its whole energy.
So the Congress turns to you, proletarians and Socialists of all lands, that in this decisive hour you should let your voice be heard! Make known your will in every way, and everywhere; lift your protest with full force in the Parliaments; gather together in masses for great demonstrations; make the utmost use of every means which the organisations and the strength of the proletariat place in your hands. Take care that the Governments should always have before their eyes, alert and impassioned, the will of the proletariat for peace! Oppose thus to the capitalistic world of exploitation and wholesale slaughter the proletarian world of peace and the brotherhood of the peoples!