International Working Men’s Association

The Minute Book of the General Council
March 1867

General Council Meeting
March 5th

[The Minutes are in Shaw’s hand on p. 63 of the Minute Book.
An error in the original: “March 4th” Instead of “March 5th”]

Citizen Odger in the chair.

The Minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed.

A letter was read from Mr. Jackson of Kendal containing 20 postage stamps as the annual contribution of the shoemakers of that town.

A letter was also read from Mr. Butler, the Secretary of the Coventry Ribbon-Weavers’ Association. The letter asked for the rate of wages paid in Basle and other parts of Switzerland as the asserted low price paid to the Swiss weavers was made the excuse for reducing the price paid to the ribbon-weavers of England.

Jung was then directed to write to Switzerland for the required information.

Jung then read a letter from Chaux-de-Fonds stating that four new branches of the Association had been formed. He also had a letter from Dupleix which he des sired to bring before the Standing Committee. Jung also read two letters from Fribourg of Paris relating to the position of the bronze-workers of Paris on strike.[111] He stated that a deputation had waited upon the day working bookbinders who had given five pounds and lent ten pounds to [the] bronze-workers of Paris.[112] The Trades Council had also given credentials to the Association to enable them to appeal to the trades of London,[113] and Jung, Marx, Lafargue, Dupont, Van Rijen, Collet, Zabicki, Lessner, Eccarius, and Carter agreed to wait upon the various trades to solicit their aid.

The matter of the Belgian miners and iron-workers was then brought forward and postponed until Eccarius had produced. the circular that he had written upon the subject.

The Council then adjourned.


General Council Meeting
March 12th

The Minutes are in Shaw’s hand on pp. 64-65 of the Minute Book.

Citizen Fox in the chair.

Councilmen present: Jung, Van Rijen, Dupont, Marx, Lafargue, Lessner, Carter, Hales, Maurice, and Shaw. Citizens Tolain, Fribourg, and several [the word “several” is inserted in Fox’s hand in place of the crossed-out word “three"] other members of the Association were present.

The Minutes of the previous meeting were confirmed as read.

The following resolution from the Standing Committee was brought up and confirmed by the Council, viz.:

That we approve and endorse the political conduct of the Paris Administration and condemn the attacks made upon Dupont, Jung, Dupleix, and other members of the Association in the Espiegle, L’Avenir de Geneve. and other journals.[114]

Dupont reported that Fribourg had cited Le Lubez before a meeting of the members of the French branch of the Association for the purpose of answering the attacks made by Le Lubez upon Fribourg and others. The meeting condemned the policy of Le Lubez by a majority of 22 out of 23 votes.[115]

On the suggestion of Citizen Fox the following resolution was agreed to unanimously:

That this Council acknowledges the value of the services rendered to it and to the interests of the Association throughout Europe by Citizen James Cope, a member of this Council, in providing, by his guarantee given to the British Government, for the continuance of the publications of the proceedings of the Geneva Congress in the International Courier and Courrier International — two organs of this Association in England. [the latter part of the sentence beginning with the words “two organs” is written in Fox’s hand between the lines]

Copies of The International Courier to be sent to Societies

It was moved and carried with one dissentient that copies of the International Courier, containing the two first parts of the proceedings of the Geneva Congress, be sent to the trade and other societies affiliated with us.

It was also referred to the Standing Committee to consider the propriety of circulating the same among trade unions not yet affiliated with us.

Paris Bronze Workers’ Lock-out

Dupont reported that the members present at the last meeting of the French branch of the I. W. Association had guaranteed to supply 13 per month to the bronze-workers as long as the struggle lasted and had paid 6 10s. on account. The money would be supplied as a loan and when returned would be formed into a fund to meet future cases that might be brought before the branch.

Lessner and Maurice reported that the French polishers’ meeting at the Three Tuns, Oxford Street, would decide what support they would give to the bronze-workers on Tuesday next the 19th instant. They would also appoint a delegate to the Council in place of Citizen Whitehead.

Carter reported that he had waited upon the Amalgamated Carpenters. They would decide what they would do in the course of a few days.

Jung reported that he and others had waited upon t he Council of the Engineers. He expected to hear what the Council would do, daily.

He also stated that he had written to many other societies and waited upon some, and that the curriers’ meeting at the Black Jack, Portsmouth Street, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, would hold a quarterly meeting on Thursday, May 2nd, at 8 o’clock, at which a deputation from the Council should attend.[116]

Arrangements for attending other societies on behalf of the bronze-workers were made, and several councilmen promised to attend.

The Day Working Bookbinders’ Society

Secretary Bockett paid 17s. 6d. as annual contribution for 420 members of the above society. And said he would have the letter from +the members of his society to the bookbinders of Paris ready in a few days and would forward it to the Council for translation and conveyance to Paris.

Citizen Lessner paid 1 7s. 9d. on behalf of the German-Swiss section of the 1. W. Association.[117]

The Secretary was instructed to purchase an address book for the purpose of inserting herein the names, addresses, and money accounts of the societies affiliated with us. [The latter part of the sentence beginning with the words “for the purpose” is written in Fox’s hand between the lines]

The following letter was handed in by Citizen Zabicki and read by the President.

March 12th, 1867

The Central London Section of the United Polish Exiles to The General Council of The International [Working] Men’s Association


We are instructed to Communicate to you that the Central London Section. of the United Polish Exiles, at their sitting on the 10th of February, passed unanimously a vote of thanks to the General Council of the International [Working] Men’s Association for the generous and effectual co-operation in the arrangements of the social teaparty and public meeting held at the Cambridge Hall in commemoration of the January anniversary of the last insurrection, expressing, more especially, their warmest gratitude to the Chairman, ‘Mr. Jung, Mr. P. Fox, Dr. Marx, Mr. Eccarius, and the other speakers, for their noble, warm, and able defence of the Polish cause, before the assembled public.

Louis Oborski, Colonel, President

John Krynski, Secretary

The meeting was then adjourned to the 19th instant.


General Council Meeting
March 19th

[The Minutes are in Shaw’s hand on pp. 66-67 of the Minute Book]

Citizen Lessner in the chair.

Citizen Fox acted as Secretary.

The Minutes of the previous meeting were. confirmed with the amendments that Fox was ordered to make.

Bronze Workers

Citizen Jung reported that the boot-makers of Fetter Lane had voted 5. The E.C. had only the power to vote 10.

Tin Plate-Workers, Black Jack

Jung stated that the committee had no power to vote money; it must be voted by a quarterly meeting of the members which would take place on the 10th of April. He also stated that the society would very likely join us if we send a deputation to their meeting as above stated.[118]

Coach-Trimmers, The Globe, North Audley St.

Lessner and Hales reported that the above society could vote money without a special meeting. They would [pay] their entrance fee to this Association in about a month.

Swiss News

Jung read an extract [from] the Association Internationale [La Voix de l’Avenir] relating to our Association.

Report from Standing Committee

Fox brought up a report recommending that Maurice be paid henceforth 1s. 6d. per week for the use of his room for the meetings of the Standing Committee. Carried.

The Swiss section having demanded that the programme of the Lausanne Congress be drawn up and published forthwith, the Standing Committee thought it best not to comply with that demand, but, instead thereof, to refer for study, as the only urgent and special question of the moment, “The Means of Making Credit Available for the Working Classes.” This recommendation was unanimously confirmed by the Council.[119]

Circulation of the Report of the Geneva Congress

Fox stated that two quires of [the] I.C. [International Courier] would be wanted to supply English societies and American correspondents and 2 ½ quires of [the] C.I. [Courrier International] for Continental correspondents. He thought it would take seven numbers without the French essay.[120] Fox moved and Carter seconded.

That two quires of the I.C. and 2 ½ of [the] C.I. be ordered weekly until the report is concluded. Carried nem. con.

Collet said he would send 200 [copies] of the Working Man to trades societies if he had the addresses.[121]

Cohn said that the cigar-makers were spreading all over England. The Liverpool Cigar-Makers’ Society of 300 members had several branches in the North (they were unconnected with London), and he advised the Council to communicate with them as they would see through the exchange of balance-sheets that the London society belonged to us.

Odger said he was going to Manchester and he would see what he could do for the bronze-workers with the Trades Council[122] there; he however should want credentials.

The meeting then adjourned.


General Council Meeting
March 26th

[The Minutes are in Shaw’s hand on pp. 67-68 of the Minute Book.]

The Secretary absent.

Eccarius took the chair and the Minutes.

Citizen Jung read a letter from Paris. Mr. Barbedienne is going to arrange a log with his work-people; other employers are following his example.[123] The Geneva section of the I.W.A. have agreed to a weekly levy. In Paris the masters discharge men for supporting the lock-out. [the bronze-workers’ strike] (Two days later.) Some employers have agreed to a log with their men. The masters are holding a conference respecting a log. There will be a general meeting next Sunday.


Citizen lung received 5 from the shoemakers ([for the] bronze-workers) accompanied with a very sympathising letter. He had been to the hatters (Gravel Lane) alone. The society does not acknowledge one person as a deputation. It requires a statement first and deputation afterwards. The iron-founders express great sympathy. Cannot assist as they are in great difficulties. The West End cabinet-makers have lent 20.

It was resolved to renew the application to the shoemakers.’

The meeting then adjourned.