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

Emergency Conference Of The Fourth International

Supplementary Statement Of The IEC

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

The conference takes note of the following additional considerations in endorsing the declaration of Crux, Martel, Fischer, Jones, Stuart, Muniz, and Richardson on the status of the resident IEC.

1. Lebrun, Johnson, Trent, and Anton constituted an accidental majority of the resident IEC. The outbreak of the war put into effect, automatically, the proposal adopted by the First World Congress, i. e., that the work of the International be transferred to this side of the ocean. The four above mentioned plus Martel were the only IEC members present in New

York at the time the change of seat took place. It was understood, however, that as many IEC members as could be reached would be participating in the deliberations of the Executive. Unfortunately, only Jones, Crux, and Fischer of the IEC could be gotten in touch with for consultations. War censorship and other difficulties that arose made it impossible to maintain correspondence with others.

2. Lebrun, Johnson, Trent, and Anton took advantage of their accidental majority to betray the trust placed in IEC members by the World Congress. It is obvious that the International Executive Committee and consequently any working body of it had as its primary duty to defend the program of the Fourth International as adopted by the congress until such time as a new congress could be called to change that program. Lebrun and Co. proposed that the slogan of unconditional defense, to begin with, be dropped and later even advocated a change to a position of outright defeatism in the USSR They thus violated the program and decisions of the congress by whose authority alone they hold positions on the IEC.

3. Aside from their programmatic violations, this majority of the resident IEC completely abdicated any authority which they might have had immediately after the initiation of the discussion in the SWP in the United States. Although having a majority in the resident IEC, they not only did not see to it that meetings were held and questions of international discipline or of international aid in moderating the struggle in the SWP were taken up, but on the contrary, they failed to respond when called to order by the administrative secretary of the committee whose selection they unanimously endorsed.

4. When ' the danger of split threatened in the SWP, they took sides with the splitters and joined them in the unheard of proposition of allowing a group within the International to issue a public organ with a line of policy contrary to the principles of the Fourth International. This they did instead of acting responsibly as trustees of the International organization when they were requested, on February 20th, by IEC members Crux, Fischer, and Martel to join them in an attempt to moderate the tendency toward split That was a final act of abdication of duty and responsibility on their part and made emergency action necessary on the part of the sections of the Fourth International and all those within it loyal to its program.

5. It is important to mention that Lebrun and Co. represent absolutely nothing within the ranks of the Fourth International now. The authority of Trent and Anton rested upon the mandates given to them by the American section. The American section has since completely repudiated them by an overwhelming majority. The authority of Johnson rested upon the mandate given him by the British section. But the British section in its organs, and in all communications received, condemns defeatism in the Soviet Union and continues to endorse the entire program of the Fourth International, including the position of unconditional defense of the USSR. Lebruns authority rested upon the mandate given him by the World Congress as representative for the Latin American sections. All of the Latin American sections, to our knowledge, have expressed themselves in favor of maintaining the position of unconditional defense, that is, of remaining loyal to the decisions of the first world congress, and to the principles of the Fourth International. Even his own section, the Brazilian, in a letter mentioned in the declaration, declared itself ready, although a strong defeatist tendency exists within its ranks, to continue to advocate the slogan of unconditional defense until an international decision is reached. Thus all of the abovementioned have become individuals without any authority in the ranks of the Fourth International. They represent nothing and nobody but themselves now that they have betrayed the trust placed in them by the last world congress.

6. The Emergency Conference, because of the fact that a majority of the previous resident Executive Committee violated the principles and decisions of the Fourth International and actually participated in helping to split the most important section of the Fourth International, considers justifiable the action of the United States, Canadian, and Mexican sections in calling the conference for the purpose of designating an authoritative and functioning Executive Committee to carry on the work of the International.

7. In calling an emergency congress to elect a new executive body, the Mexican, United States, and Canadian sections, together with the loyal members of the IEC, acted as they were duty bound to act in order to guard the Fourth International against disruption in the trying period of wars and social convulsions that we have now entered. Their action is to be commended as a service to the entire International

and to the revolutionary vanguard of the working class of the whole world.

8. The composition of the conference, which includes the mandated representatives of the United States, Canadian, Mexican, Spanish, Belgian, Puerto Rican, Cuban, German, Australian, and Chilean sections, and has received statements from Argentina and Uruguay, is proof that our International is indeed ready to meet emergencies as they arise. Its unanimous decision to repudiate the splitters and to uphold the program of the Fourth International carries with it the backing of every active section of the Fourth International. It therefore feels fully justified in placing the authority of the International in an executive committee elected by it, whose duty it shall be to speak in the name of the World Party of Socialist Revolution and to carry on its work with full power to act until such a time as a full congress of the Fourth International is once again made possible.

Last updated on 12.5.2005