Documents of the First International 1868

To the Secretaries and Members of the International Working Men’s Association[386]

Source: Minutes of the General Council of the First International 1866-1868, 1964;
Adopted by the General Council on January 28, 1868;
First Published: in The Bee-Hive, February 15, 1868.

Citizens, — As the General Council intends issuing a report on the present state of the working population, you are desired to furnish whatever authentic information you may be able to procure respecting the state and the condition of the work-people of your respective localities, if possible within a month. The secretaries of the affiliated trades societies will oblige by answering the following questions: — 1. The name of society? 2. The number of its members? 3. What are the customary hours of labour? 4. What is the customary rate of wages? 5. Is employment constant or fluctuating? 6. What number has been out of work during the last three months? 7. Are those in work fully employed? 8. Has any advance or reduction of wages taken place within the last five years? 9. Has co-operative production been tried, and with what success?

The Council will esteem it a favour if, in addition to answering these questions, they can give any other information, either about their own or any trade in particular, or of the state of the working population in their neighbourhood in general, and whether any special endeavours are being made to improve the condition of the poor and with what success.