MIA: History: ETOL: Documents: FI: 1938-1949: World War II: Emergency Conference: 1940

Declaration On The Status Of The Resident International Executive Committee

Adopted by the Emergency Conference of the Fourth International
May 19-26, 1940

In view of the fact that the resident International Executive Committee has virtually ceased to exist as such, the undersigned must make known the following information.

1. The resident IEC was set up in New York immediately after the outbreak of the war, its composition being determined solely by presence in that city; an administrative secretary was assigned to work with the committee by the Political Committee of the SWP.

2. That committee was to serve as a secretariat with the fullest possible participation of other members of the IEC present on this continent

3. Immediately following the opening of the discussion in the SWP, a majority of the members of the resident committee tended to align themselves factionally with the minority in that party, failing to utilize their function on the committee in order to mitigate the struggle and, in fact, ignoring the existence of the IEC for all practical purposes.

4. This nonfunctioning of the majority of the members of the resident committee was conclusively proven when JEC members Crux and Fischer and the representative of the Mexican and Spanish sections, Muniz, addressed it on February 20 with the proposal to intervene in the Socialist Workers Party discussion for the purpose of preserving unity. The secretary of the committee forwarded this communication with Comrade Martel's and his own endorsement. In spite of the extreme gravity and urgency of the situation, no reply was received from Comrades Trent, Anton, Johnson, and Lebrun.

5. Comrades Trent and Anton participated in the Cleveland split conference of the minority as members of that faction in the SWP; Comrade Johnson--without any authorization fromthe British section and most certainly without any authority from the IEC. Comrade Lebrun endorsed the actions taken there, likewise without the approval of his own section and without consulting the IEC. The only communication received by the IEC from Brazil in the recent period informs us that the section there retains the position of "unconditional defense of the USSR," accepting the discipline of the Fourth International despite differences of opinion within its ranks. It also reprimands Lebrun for neglect of duty in relation to his own party. All these comrades have thus acted behind the back of the International Executive Committee and in utter disregard of their duties as members of that body.

6. All our information says that the overwhelming majority of the Fourth International remains true to Marxist theory, to our program, to our political tradition, and to the organizational principles of Bolshevism. The connections with Europe are very difficult. But we can and should immediately create a genuine Pan American center based upon the active sections, with the purpose of reestablishing as early as possible a new International Executive Committee really representing the Fourth International and capable of continuous revolutionary activity.

7. To that end, and in view of the de facto nonexistence of the resident IEC, we fully endorse the initiative taken by the American, Canadian, and Mexican sections of the Fourth International in calling a Pan American Conference. The conference, with the participation of all sections that can furnish mandates, can and must establish at once a representative body which will replace the defunct resident IEC.


Crux [Trotsky—transcriber], Fischer, Martel, Jones

Stuart, Administrative Secretary, IEC

Endorsed by:

Muniz, representative of Spanish and Mexican sections.

Richardson, representative of Canadian section.

Last updated on 12.5.2005