International Working Men’s Association

The Minute Book of the General Council
September 1867

Council Meeting
September 17

[The Minutes are in Eccarius’s hand on pp. 105-09 of the Minute Book]

Citizen Jung in the chair.

The Minutes of the two previous meetings were read.

This paragraph is crossed out in the Minute Book.

Citizen Fox objected to the version given of the discussion on the second Congress question.

After a good deal of discussion Citizen Fox handed a written statement to the Secretary to be substituted for the version given by the Secretary, which was agreed to, and the Minutes confirmed.

Report of the General Secretary [Eccarius]

The French polishers had sent their annual contribution; the Lynn carpenters and joiners had sent 9s. 9d. in postage stamps demanding [the] Rules and cards; the National Association of Operative Plasterers, Liverpool, [here the words “had sent their adhesion” are crossed out in the Minute Book] in delegate meeting assembled, had voted a guinea a year to the funds of the International Association and wanted to know whom to send the money to; the house painters, Birmingham, had sent their adhesion enclosing a post-office order of 19s. 7d. as entrance fee and annual contribution.

Citizen Jung announced that a new paper, La Liberté, had been started in Belgium, the editorial staff of which had asked for literary contributions, offering to insert anything that might be of interest to the Association.[206]

Citizen Shaw objected to the manner in which Citizen Fox had rendered the reports of the American Labour Congress in the Bee-Hive making it appear as if our correspondent was the correspondent of the Bee-Hive.[207]

After a good deal of discussion the matter [was] dropped.

Upon the proposition of Citizen Eccarius it was agreed that £2, the remainder of the balance due to R. Cottam, should be paid.

It was further agreed that two quires of the Bee-Hive of Saturday, September 14, and two quires of Saturday, September 21, be purchased for the use of the Council.[208]

As the time was too far advanced to hear the report of the Congress delegate, the meeting adjourned to Tuesday, September 24.

Members present: Buckley, Carter, Cohn, Eccarius, Fox, Hales, Jung, Lessner, Marx, Shaw, Zabicki.


Council Meeting
September 24

[The Minutes are in Eccarius’s hand on pp. 109-11 of the Minute Book]

Citizen Odger in the chair.

The Minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed.

A delegate from the French polishers announced his presence.

The Secretary of the Liverpool Cigar-Makers announced by letter the affiliation of that body, and also that he had sent a P.O.O. payable to R. Shaw to 18, Bouverie St., which had not come to hand.

Citizen Fox consented to make inquiries.

Citizen Eccarius gave an account of his mission to Lausanne and the proceedings of the Peace Congress at Geneva.[209]

Citizen Lessner spoke about the indecorous behaviour of some of the delegates at Lausanne. He stated that the Congress had been really representative. The Minutes would be published in full in the French language at the expense of the French-speaking delegates.

A vote of thanks to the delegates [was passed].

In consequence of the announcement that the Congress had voted Id. per member a year to the central fund, Citizen Fox raised the question whether it would not be advisable to abolish the 5s. entrance fee for societies.[210]

Citizens Eccarius, Odger, Marx were [of a contrary opinion] against the abolition.

Citizen Shaw gave notice of [a] motion to abolish the shilling contribution of delegates to the Council from affiliated societies.

Citizen Fox gave notice to call the attention of the Council to Eccarius’s reports of the Congress in the Times.

Citizen Marx gave notice to call the attention of the Council to a letter addressed by Citizen Fox to Ph. Becker of Geneva with a view to ascertain its purport.[211]

Appointment of Officers

Upon the proposition of Citizen Hales, it was unanimously agreed not to appoint a standing president.[212]

Upon the proposition of Citizen Shaw, it was unanimously [agreed] that the functions hitherto performed by the financial secretary should be transferred to the general secretary and the office of financial secretary abolished.

The following were appointed as officers without a dissentient voice: R. Shaw, treasurer; J. George Eccarius, general secretary; Eugene Dupont, secretary for France; Karl Marx for Germany; Zabicki for Poland; Hermann Jung for Switzerland; James Carter for Italy; Peter Fox for America; Paul Lafargue for Spain.

On account of the constant absence of Citizen Besson, the late Secretary for Belgium, the appointment of a secretary for Belgium was postponed.[213]

Citizen Cohn, the delegate of the London Cigar-Makers’ Association, stated that by economical management his society had succeeded in accumulating a fund amounting to about £2,000 which was deposited in the savings-bank at an annual interest of 2 ½ per cent. They thought that money might be applied More beneficially and they wanted to know how. He submitted the question to the Council with a view to being taken into consideration and that the Council might give some advice in the matter and state its opinion whether it was possible to devise a scheme to put the money to a better purpose.

The committee had offered a price of two guineas for the best essay upon the best means to apply the funds of the association. This was confined to the members of the association but they wanted the advice of the Council too. The time fixed for the examination of the essays was February 1868.

Citizen Hinton (a citizen of the United States) inquired how he could aid the efforts of the International Association on his return home. He thought it was high time that the Americans should give up their somewhat narrow movement which was confined to national limits. He thought with proper management the moral weight of the American Republic might be gained for the support of struggling democracy in Europe. He would do his best to bring about a co-operation that would have such an effect and he would also endeavour to get an American delegation to the next International Working Men’s Congress. He stigmatised the attacks of the Times against the American Labour Congress and stated there was no foundation for the assertion made in the Times respecting immigration from Europe.[214]

After several propositions and a good deal of discussion the question as to the Special powers to be entrusted to Citizen Hinton was postponed.

The meeting adjourned at 10:30 o’clock.

Members present: Buckley, Cohn, Eccarius, Fox, Hales, Jung, Mrs. Law, Lessner, Marx, Maurice, Shaw, Zabicki.

H. Jung, Chairman [H. Jung was in the chair at the meeting of October 1, at which the said Minutes were confirmed]
J. G. Eccarius, Secretary

Council members appointed by the Congress with power to add to their number: Besson, Buckley, Carter, Dell, Dupont, Eccarius, Fox, Harriet Law, Hales, Howell, Jung, Lucraft, Lessner, Lassassie, Lafargue, Lawrence, Marx, Morgan, Maurice, Odger, Shaw, Stainsby, Williams, Walton, Weston, Yarrow, Zabicki.