History of the Pan-African Congress, George Padmore (editor) 1947
The last session of the Congress was given over to a crowded mass meeting, marked by the exchange of many fraternal greetings. On the previous evening a banquet was held at which many complimentary speeches were made.
Mr. T. R. Makonnen, Treasurer of the Pan-African Federation, presented Dr. W. E. Burghardt Du Bois, on behalf of the delegates, with a silver cigarette box as a small token of the affection and esteem felt towards him and the great Africo-American people he represented.
This ceremony was associated with the following resolution conveying the greetings and support of the Congress to National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People of America: “The Fifth Pan-African Congress greets the heroic struggles of the thirteen million people of African descent in the United States in their fight to secure the rights of full citizenship, political, economic and social. Africans and peoples of African descent throughout the world will continue to support their Afro-American brothers in their fight for their rights by intelligent organised planning, legal contention and political pressure. This Congress endorses Afro-American opposition to unequal distribution of wealth, the rule of wealth and the conduct of industry solely for private profit. This Congress supports- the attitude of Afro-Americans in offering- to unite their effort with trade union labour. This Congress believes that the successful realisation of the political, economic and social aspirations of the thirteen million people in the United States is bound up with the emancipation of all African peoples, as well as other dependent people and the working class everywhere.”
Mr. George Padmore, on behalf of the Standing Orders Committee, proposed the following resolution conveying solidarity with the Indian struggle, which was seconded by Mr. Ken Hill and adopted by the Congress with loud acclaim: “We, the representatives of African peoples and peoples of African descent assembled at the Fifth Pan-African Congress in Manchester, do hereby send fraternal greetings to the toiling masses of India through the Indian National Congress and pledge our solidarity with the Indian struggle for national freedom and social emancipation.”
The Fifth Pan-African Congress, representing people of Africa and African descent now in session in the City of Manchester, extends its fraternal greetings to the struggling peoples of Indonesia and Viet-Nam in their struggle against Dutch and French Imperialisms, and pledge solidarity with them in their fight for national freedom and economic emancipation.
HANDS OFF INDONESIA! HANDS OFF VIETNAM!
A cable was received from the President of the Aborigines’ Rights Protection Society of the Gold Coast, instructing the delegates from that territory that there must be no compromise on the question of independence of the Colonies. The cable said: “We request you to emphasise that in considering any proposal or scheme for self-government, emphasis should be laid on two facts that are often overlooked, namely; first, that Africa was self-governing before Europe tampered with her usages and institutions; secondly, that self-government need not be according to English models or ideals. It is not true that responsible and representative government is the invention of British statecraft. The British are notoriously incapable of recognizing democracy in any country unless it wears an English garb or expresses itself in terms intelligible to the English mind. But the English form of democracy cannot work in non-English countries, Even the American variant differs essentially from the English. Provision should therefore be made in every constitution for the control of the legislature by a supreme court with wide powers, which can pronounce as to the validity or invalidity of questionable or unconstitutional measures.”
From the Secretary of the Joint Provisional Council of the Gold Coast. “I have been instructed by the Joint Provisional Council of the Gold Coast to wish your congress all success.”
From Professor D. D. T. Jabavu of South African Native College, President of the Non-European Convention: “It is absolutely impossible for an African to get a passage to England within so short a time. Nevertheless, both my wife and myself wish the congress all success and prosperity.”
From the Secretary of the African National Congress of South Africa: “I can assure the Congress that my organisation appreciates your kind invitation. We are already making preparation and arrangements to attend if we can an obtain passports. These arrangements are being made in conjunction with our President-General of the African National Congress, Dr. A. B. Xuma.”
(Unfortunately the South African delegates were unable to obtain passports and could not attend. – Editor).
Mr. T. E. Sealy, Coordinating Editor, The Daily Gleaner, Jamaica, British West Indies: “My message to the congress, one which I hope is consistent with your programme, is that respect will come to us Negro peoples, fully, only when we have won the fight for political self-determination wherever we may be. Where we are numerically in the majority we must have a correspondingly preponderant influence and power in a self-governing authority. Where we remain a minority we must have protection and privileges equal to those demanded by and afforded to the dominant majorities. I believe that until the world becomes a rational Utopia people will always have racial and other prejudices. But prejudices must not be allowed to have legal, political or economic status, must not be permitted to deprive of us of full opportunity. Give us-we demand it-educational, economic and political freedom, and we will by our own constructive lives prove fraudulent and empty the social prejudices of the ‘superior peoples’.”
Mr. Surat Ali, Federation of Indian Associations in Great Britain, expressed pleasure in being able to address the Congress, in which he was interested for three reasons: he had worked a great deal with African seamen, he was a working man, and he was an Indian. Relations between Indians and Africans were not only those of the common struggle, they were also historic. An Indian philosopher had said: “As long as there is one man oppressed the whole Indian nation feels oppressed: so long as there is one man who is not emancipated, I do not feel that I am emancipated.” This is the message he brought to greet the Congress on behalf of the Indian people in Britain. This common struggle should bring Indians and Africans closer to realising their ancient relationship, so that coloured people would no longer be oppressed.
From the District Secretary, Communist Party (Lancashire and Cheshire District): “I have been instructed to convey to you our sincere fraternal greetings, and to say that we believe the following two points should be the basis of a campaign in the Labour Movement in this country on the problems with which you are dealing:
(1) A clear declaration from the British Government that the principles of the Atlantic Charter apply to the Colonial peoples, with special emphasis on Clause 3, as follows -’they respect the form of government under which they will live, and they wish to see sovereign rights and self-determination restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them.’
(2) A comprehensive programme of immediate reforms to be applied to each colony at once, such reforms to cover the removal of restrictions upon civil rights; freedom of organisation and press; the abolition of the poll and hut tax; the abolition of pass laws; the securing of universal adult suffrage to the Legislative Council and local government; elementary education to be made accessible and compulsory for all children of school age; the extension of secondary, technical and higher education; the introduction of adequate public health services; the introduction of minimum labour and social legislation; access to the land and comprehensive housing programme.
Allow me to wish you the very best success in your efforts.” – Pat Devine, District Secretary.
“Sends fraternal greetings to the delegates and wishes the congress all success.”
“Sends fraternal greetings and best wishes to the congress for every success. Common Wealth wishes to be associated with the colonial peoples in the common struggle for the common man everywhere.”
“We are in complete agreement and sympathy with the basic objects and proposed activities of the congress and wish you all success.”
The Congress welcomed Miss Dinah Stock, delegate from the Freedom Defence Committee of London. Miss Stock asked the delegates to give their support to a petition by the Freedom Defence Committee to the British Government, asking that certain political prisoners held under Defence of the Realm Regulation 18b now be granted amnesty. This petition the delegates later signed.
Teachers’ Union Rev. HARRY E. SAWYER
Trade Union Congress I. T. A. WALLACE-JOHNSON
Youth LeagueI. T. A. WALLACE-JOHNSON
The People’s Forum L. SANKOH
Trades Union Congress A. SOYEMI COKER
The National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons MAGNUS WILLIAMS, F. B. JOSEPH
Nigerian Youth Movement O. AWOLOWO, H. O. DAVIES
Calabar Improvement League E. B. NDEM
Aborigines’ Rights Protection Society G. ASHIE-NIKOI
Gold Coast Farmers’ Association W. J. KWESI MOULD, G. ASHIE-NIKOI
African Railway Employees Union J. S. ANNAN
Friends of African Freedom Society B. A. RENNER, Mrs. RENNER
National Council of Gambia J. DOWNES-THOMAS
Trades Union E. GARBA-JAHUMPA
Progressive Society J. TOBIE, R. BROADHURST
The Young Baganda I. YATU
Tanganyika S. RAHINDA
Kikuyu Central Association African Union JOMO KENYATTA
Nyasaland African Congress Dr. HASTINGS K. BANDA
African National Congress MARKO HLUBI, PETER ABRAHAMS
Workers’ Union R. G. SMALL, W. R. AUSTIN
Progressive League E. de L. YEARWOOD
Workers’ Union A. MOSELEY
R. JOHNSON, J. McCASKIE, R. D. WATSON, J. M. KING
Workers’ Association G. R. TUCKER
Trades Union Council D. M. HARPER
African Development Association W. MEIGHAN, Dr. P. MILLIARD
Workers’ League G. CARGILL, H. DAWSON, H. T. WEIR
Labour Party S. J. ANDREWS
Trades Union Council KEN HILL
People’s National Party L. A. THOYWELL-HENRY
Ex-British West Indies Regt. Assn.
Universal Negro Improvement Assn. Miss ALMA LA BADIE
Garvey’s African Communities League L. A. THOYWELL-HENRY, V. G. HAMILTON, K. BOXER
Workers’ League R. JOHNSON
St. Kitt-Nevis Trades and Labour Union E. McKENZIE-MAVINGA, J. A. LINTON
Seamen’s and Waterfront Workers’ Union J. M. KING
Trinidad and Tobago:
Federated Workers’ Trade Union G. PADMORE
Negro Welfare and Cultural Assn. C. LYNCH
West Indies National Party C. LUSHINGTON
Labour Party E. McKENZIE-MAVINGA
Oilfield Workers’ Union JOHN ROJAS
Trade Union Congress RUPERT GITTENS
The Negro Association, Manchester C. PEART, M. I. FARO, F. NILES, Dr. P. MILLIARD, F. W. BLAINE
The Negro Welfare Centre, Liverpool J. E. TAYLOR, E. J. DUPLAN, C. D. HYDE, E. A. COWAN, K. E. TAYLOR
Coloured Workers’ Association E. P. MARKE, E. A. AKI-EMI, J. NORTEY
United Committee of Coloured and Colonial People’s Assn., Cardiff A. E. MOSSELL, S. J. S. ANDREW, J. NURSE, M. HASSAN, B. RODERICK
African Students’ Union of Edinburgh J. C. de GRAF JOHNSON
The Young African Progressive League R. FINI, E. BROWN, G. NELSON, A. AGUNSANYA
League of African Peoples, Birmingham Dr. C. J. PILISO
West African Students’ Union, London F. R. KANKAM BOADU, J. E. APPIAH, F. O. B. BLAIZE
International African Service Bureau T. R. MAKONNEN, Mrs. ASHWOOD GARVEY, G. PADMORE, P. ABRAHAMS, F. K. NKRUMAH
African Progressive Assn. London K. O. LARBI
Assn. of African Descent, Dublin JA-JA WACHUKU
Committee of Cyprus Affairs L. JOANNOU
Somali Society ISMAIL DORBEH ALI MEBAH
Federation of Indian Organisations in Britain SURAT ALLEY
Ceylon Lanka Sama Samaj T. B. SUBASINGHA
Women’s International League Miss H. BURTON
Commonwealth Miss LEEDS
Independent Labour Party JOHN McNAIR
Negro Welfare Assn Miss LEVY, Miss R. B. ROSE, Miss A. B. BLAINE
The following committees were appointed by the Plenary Session of Congress:
G. PADMORE, Chairman.
B. A. RENNER, Secretary.
E. A. AKI-EMI, J. S. ANNAN, T. R. MAKONNEN.
J. KENYATTA, Chairman.
F. B. JOSEPH, Secretary.
E. A. COWAN, A. S. MOSSELL, J. TAYLOR.
E. ABRAHAMAS, Chairman.
K. F. NKRUMAH, Secretary.
E. de L. YEARWOOD, E. K. TAYLOR.
I. T. A. WALLACE-JOHNSON, Chairman
KEN HILL, Secretary.
G. JAHUMPA, Dr. W. E. B. DUBOIS, Mrs. A GARVEY,
G. ASHIE-NIKOI, E. J. DUPLAN.
Dr. W. E. B. DU BOIS, Chairman
Dr. P. MILLIARD, Secretary.
Mrs. A. GARVEY, MARKO HLUBI, A. S. MOSSELL, I. T. A.
WALLACE-JOHNSON, G. ASHIE-NIKOI.
Miss A. ROSSALL, Chairman.
Mrs. A. GARVEY, Secretary.
Miss V. THOMPSON, Miss R. B. ROSE, Mrs. A. B. BLAINE,
Miss LEVY, Mrs. PRICE, Miss E. DORMAN, Miss DRONAH
PETROFF, Mrs. RENNER.
Mrs. DOROTHY LIVINGS.
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[Financial Statement has been omitted]