Frederick Engels in The Daily News 1871

Statement by the General Council on the Letters of G. J. Holyoake and B. Lucraft

Written: about June 27, 1871;
Approved at the General Council meeting of June 27, 1871;
Source: The Daily News, June 29, 1871;
Transcribed: for by Tony Brown.

To the Editor of The Daily News

Sir, —

I am instructed by the General Council of the International Working Men’s Association to reply to the letters of Messrs. G. J. Holyoake and B. Lucraft, which appeared in your issue of Monday last a I find, on referring to the minutes of the Council, that Mr. Holyoake attended a meeting of the Council, by permission, on the 16th of November, 1869, and during the sitting expressed his desire to become a member of the Council, and to attend the next General Congress of the International, to be held in Paris, September, 1870. After he had retired, Mr. John Weston proposed him as a candidate for membership, but the proposition was received in such a manner that Mr. Weston did not insist, but withdrew it. With regard to Mr. Lucraft’s statement that he was not present when the address was voted upon, I may say that Mr. Lucraft was present at a meeting of the Council held on the 23rd of May, 1871, when it was officially announced that the draught of the address on the “Civil War in France” would be read and discussed at the next ordinary meeting of the Council, May the 30th. It was therefore left entirely to Mr. Lucraft to decide whether he would be present or absent upon that occasion, and not only did he know that it was the rule of the Council to append the names of all its members, present or absent, to its public documents, but he was one of the most strenuous supporters of that rule, and resisted on several occasions attempts made to dispense with it — on May 23, amongst others — and he then voluntarily informed the Council that “ his entire sympathy was with the Commune of Paris.” On Tuesday evening, June 20, at a meeting of the Council, Mr. Lucraft was forced to admit that he had not even then read the address itself, but that all his impressions about it were derived from the statements of the press. With respect to Mr. Odger’s repudiation, all I can say is that he was waited upon personally and informed that the Council was about to issue an address, and was asked if he objected to his name appearing in connection with it, and he said “No.” The public can draw its own conclusions. I may add that the resignations of Messrs. Lucraft and Odger have been accepted by the Council unanimously.

I am, Sir, your obedient servant,

John Hales,

Secretary to the General Council of the International Working Men’s Association
256, High Holborn, W.C.