The International Workingmen's Association, 1872

Report of the Mandate Commission to the Hague Congress

Report written in French by Gabriel Ranvier and Simon Dereure and signed by the seven person commission. It was read during the Congress' second sitting, Monday, September 2 1872.

The documents of the mandate commission include the manuscript of its report signed personally by its members; it lists all the mandates found valid and also states the reasons why nine mandates were not declared valid. Included also are the nominal list of the delegates published during the Congress, and individual mandates of a number of delegates (unfortunately not all the mandates are extant). Besides there are three collective imperative mandates which were issued to the delegates of the Portuguese, Jura and Spanish federations; these were published at the time in newspapers or in the form of leaflets.

Many mandates contained instructions to the delegates. For instance, New York Section No. I instructed its delegate Karl Marx to uphold "taut organisation and above all centralisation" against the intrigues of the Bakuninists "who obviously intend to decentralise the International Working Men's Association" (p.316). The Workers' Educational Society in Geneva instructed the veteran of the working-class movement Johann Philipp Becker in his mandate to vote for the preservation of the General Council. The Dijsseldorf Section instructed Theodor Friedrich Cuno to vote against the Bakuninist Alliance. The Central Section of Working Women in Geneva suggested in the mandate issued to Harriet Law, a prominent figure in the atheist movement, to aim at achieving for women equal working conditions and equal pay with men. The Bakuninist sections, for their part, demanded decentralisation of forces, the transformation of the General Council into a mere correspondence centre, and so on.

Here are the names of the delegates whose mandates are acknowledged in order as originating from sections which have fulfilled all the formalities relating to the Rules of the General Council.

1. Mandate from a French section for Citizen, Swarm

2. A French section represented by Citizen, Lucain
The same delegate has also received mandates from several other French sections.

3. A French Section, Longuet

4. A French Section, Johannard

5. The Ferré Section, France, Ranvier

6. A French Section, Voillant

7. A French Section, Frankel

8. A French Section, Waiter

9. A French Section, Vichard

10. A French Section, Wilmart

11. A French Section of Brussels, Cyrille

12. A French section without a delegate but which has sent a letter that the corresponding secretary is to read to the Congress after the verification

13. American section of the Federation represented by, Dereure

14. For the New York Congress, Sorge

15. Section No. 1, New York Mandate from the General Council Leipzig Mayence, Marx

16. Jura Federation, James Guillaumel and Adhémar Schwitzguébel

17. German section of Eszlingen, Heinrich Scheu
2nd mandate as representative of Austria, 3rd mandate for Königsberg

18. Sections No.29 and 42 of America., Citizen Sauva
For the same delegate a mandate from Section No. 2, which the commission feels bound to ask you to nullify, this section having no powers to delegate a representative to the Congress

19. 2 sections of Pest, Citizen Carl Farkas

20. A section of Bohemia, Heim

21. Irish Section, MacDonnell

22. Brunswick Section, Bernhard Becker

23. 2nd mandate from Chemnitz, Bernhard Becker

24. French-speaking Section, London, Le Moussa

25. General Council, Doctor Sexton

26. Charleroi Section, Courcelles Section, Belgium, Gouy Section, Citizen Roch Splingard

27. Federal Council, England, Federal Council, Stratford Branch, Thomas Roach

28. Solingen, Rhenish Prussia, Georg Schumacher

29. From the Brussels Federal Council, Eberhardt
The same delegate represents the following corporations: leather workers, bootclosers, tailors, joiners, painters, hide dyers, marble workers

30. Madrid Federation, 2nd mandate from Alcalá de Henaresi, 3rd mandate from Federal Council, Lisbon, Citizen Lafargue

31. Celle Section, Kugelmann

32. Dresden Section, Dietzgen

33. Section No.8, New York, Adolf Hepner

34. Central Council of Copenhagen, 2nd mandate from the General Council, Cournet

35. From the General Council, E. Dupont

36. French Section of La Chaux-de-Fonds, Vaillant

37. Carouge Section, Ant. Arnaud

38. Polish Section, London, 2nd mandate from the General Council, Wróblewski

39. Amsterdam Section, S. Van der Hout

40. Lukes Section, Victoria, Australia, E. Harcourt

41. Section No.3, Chicago, Barry

42. General Council, 2nd mand. Fr. Section of Montpellier, Serraillier

43. Hackney Road Branch Section, London, Hales

44. Brussels Section, Désiré Brismée

45. Breslan, Prussia, 2nd mandate from New York, Fred. Engels

46. Berlin, 2nd mandate from Crimmitschau, Saxony, Milke

47. The Amsterdam lithographers, Gilkens

48. Bethnal Green Branch, London, Mottershead

49. German Section, London, Lessner

50. Düsseldorf Section, Prussia, Stuttgart Section, Württemberg, Cuno

51. Moulders' Section, London, Eccarius

52. Motilders' Section, Antwerp, Coenen

53. Basle Section, J. Ph. Becker
2nd mand. Swiss Romance Federal Committee, 3rd mand. another Basle Section, 4th mand. German Section, Geneva, Zug (Switzerland), Lucerne

54. Ghent Section, Van den Abeele

55. Copenhagen Section, Pihl

56. Federal Council of Holland, Gerhard

57. Zurich, Hugo Friedländer

58. Liege Basin Federation by mechanicians, the Union of Trades, the united joiners, the united marble workers and the united sculptors, Herman

59. Munich Section, Rittinghausen

[60 -- struck out -- "German section of Geneva, J. Ph. Becker"]

61. Hague Section, Victor Dave

62. Vesdre Federation (Belgium), Fluse

63. Swiss Romance Federal Committee, Duval, Theodore

Imperative Mandate of the Portuguese Federation to its Delegate at the Hague Congress

Imperative Mandate Given to the Jura Delegates for the Hague Congress

Imperative Mandate given by the Spanish Federation to Comrades Nicolas Alonso Marselau, Tomas Gonzales Morago, Rafael Farge Pellicer and Carlos Alerini, its Delegates to the International Congress

The commission proposes suspension of the mandate of Citizen Dave pending explanations to be given by the Brussels sections; this citizen is delegated by a section of The Hague (Holland).

It proposes suspension of the mandate of Citizen Alerini as delegate of the Marseilles Section pending explanations by the General Secretary for France.

The commission proposes that Citizen Zhukovsky, delegate of the Section of Propaganda and Socialist Revolutionary Action in Geneva should not be admitted, this section not having been admitted either by the Romance Federal Committee or by the General Council.

The commission proposes that the following Spanish delegates -- Alerini, Morago, Marselau, and Pellicer -- should not be admitted until the subscriptions owing by the Federation to the General Council have been paid.

The commission proposes to annul the delegation of Section No. 2, New York, this section having been expelled by the New York Federal Council.

The commission proposes to annul the delegation of Section No. 12, New York, represented by Citizen West for the following reasons:

1. Citizen West is the delegate of a suspended section whose suspension has not been lifted by the General Congress.

2. Citizen West was a member of the Philadelphia Congress, which declared that it did not recognise the General Council.

3. Citizen West is a member of the Spring Street Federation, which declared that it did not wish to pay the subscriptions to the General Council.

The commission invites the delegates to take back their mandates and to communicate the instructions of their electors to the Congress.

The Mandate Commission:

S. Dereure,
Leo Frankel,
J. P. MacDonnell,
Karl Marx,
Thomas Roach,

French original