The International Workingmen's Association, 1866

Proposals of the Standing Committee on the Programme of the Geneva Congress

Reproduced from the Minute Book of the General Council;
Written: by Marx on March 15, 1865;
First published: in The Commonwealth, No. 180, August 18, 1866.

1. They recommend the order as published in the French programme with the single amendment that the last question be amalgamated with the first.

2. That the Secretary be instructed to make out a report of the number of members and a general statement of income and expenditure.

3. They recommend the Congress to make an enquiry into the condition of the working classes according to the following schedule of enquiries:

1) Occupation, name of.
2) Age and sex of the employed.
3) Number of the employed.
4) Hiring and wages. A. Apprentices. B. Wages, day or piece work. Whether paid by middlemen, etc. Weekly, yearly average earnings.
5) Hours of labour. In factories. Hours of small employers and home work if the business carried on in those modes. Nightwork, daywork.
6) Meal times and treatment.
7) State of place and work, overcrowding, defective ventilation, want of sunlight, use of gaslight, etc., cleanliness, etc.
8) Nature of the occupation.
9) Effect of employment upon the physical condition.
10) Moral condition. Education.
11) State of trade, whether season trade or more or less uniformly distributed over year, whether greatly fluctuating, whether exposed to foreign competition, whether destined principally for home or foreign consumption, etc.

4. That a yearly contribution of 1/2 [d.] per member be paid by societies joining, cost price of cards or livrets to be charged extra. The Secretary to have power to negotiate with poor societies on easier terms. [1]

5. The Committee recommends that the Council advise members to found benefit societies and to organise an international exchange between benefit societies. [2]

6. That the local committees keep reports of the state of trade in their districts and act as intelligence officers for working men.

Adopted by the Central Council on
July 31, 1866 with certain alterations


[1] In The Commonwealth this part reads: "They also recommend to the Congress the election of a General Secretary who shall be permanently engaged on the business of the Association, which has now assumed such proportions as to make the above a necessity. They also recommend that the rate of contributions for organised bodies be at the rate of one half-penny per member per year, the cost price of cards (livrets) to be charged extra." -- Ed. Collected Works.

[2] After this the Minute Book has: "A debate arose on this point. The recommendation was amended so as to require that the Swiss members take the initiative at the Congress on this question.

"The resolution in its amended form was carried unanimously." -- Ed.