The Hague Congress

The International Workingmen's Association, 1872

French Branch. Narbonne Section
Message to the Hague Congress

This section was formed in March 1872. Secretary: Miquel;
Written: in French in unknown hand. It bears the stamp: "The International Working Men's Association. Federal Council. Bourdeaux.";
Translated: by Richard Dixon & Alex Miller, for Progress Publishers, 1976.
Transcribed: by

Workers of the world, members of the International Association of all countries, your brothers in France send you their fraternal greetings.

We want to bring to your knowledge the views and methods proposed by sections not represented at the Congress for the flourishing of the International Working Men's Association.

To remain within the order of the day and faced with the spectacle provided to the bourgeoisie by the split provoked by certain ambitious persons (refugees in Geneva) and to put an end to these machinations, which, ridiculous though they are, may jeopardise the existence of the Association, the sections propose:

1. That the present Congress should renew the powers of the General Council by means of an election and declare that it has deserved well of the working people.

2. That the powers of the Council be extended and that the widest powers be vested in it so that the efforts of the mercantile and bourgeois reaction, which is as hideous as it is bloody, should be broken against the might which the Congress will give its delegates.

3. In view of the secrecy of correspondence so outrageously violated by the agents of the Versailles assassins, we propose that a modification be made to Article 8 of the General Rules, replacing the words "has the right to appoint its own secretary corresponding with the General Council" by "every section has the right to appoint its corresponding secretaries with the federal council of the relevant country. Only the federal council has the right to correspond with the General Council".

The section of the International has no grounds to complain of the restrictive measures decreed against the Association by the Versailles hangmen. The Dufaure law resulted mainly in the creation of our section. This means that the law of intimidation has but encouraged our efforts.

We subscribe to all the decisions the Congress takes.

We applaud the progress made by the working class in recent times. The work whose energetic defenders we have the honour to be has henceforth nothing in common with the Versailles Left, which is incapable and cowardly and which was not able to rise en masse and leave the tribune from which orders for the shooting of the purest republicans are issued every day.

Justice! against the assassination of Ferré, Raoul Rigault, Cerizier. Justice for the summary shooting and the murders committed by the Versailles troopers. Justice, we wait for your hour.

Our convicts, our prisoners and our exiles call on you. Hurry, hasten, and the radiant day which will witness your appearance will find us at your side, implacable in executing your decisions.

Long live the democratic and social Republic!

Discussed at an extraordinary session on August 12, 1872
at Narbonne (France).

On behalf and by order of the section
The Secretary