The International Workingmen's Association, 1872


Documents Relating to the
Investigation of the Alliance

On September 5, the Congress nominated a Commission to investigate the Alliance of Socialist Democracy. It consisted of five people:

Chairman: Cuno (Stuttgart)

Secretaries: Lucain and Walter (
Members: Splingard (
Belgium) and Vichard (France)

It reported to the Congress that the Alliance did exist, and its rules were contrary to the nature of the International. The Congress would resolve to expel Bakunin (24 votes for, 6 against, 7 abstentions) and Guillaume (25 for, 9 against, 8 abstentions) and voted against expelling Schwitzguebel (15 for, 16 against, 7 abstentions).

After Cuno's departure for America, and Lucain's death, the task of drawing up the final report on the Alliance fell to the commission engaged in editing the minutes of the Hague Congress -- Marx, Engels, Le Mossu, Frankel, Dupont and Serraillier. The main task was taken up by Marx and Engels, with substantial assistance from Paul Lafargue. The commission started compiling the report in April 1873 and in August in was published as the pamphlet The Alliance of Socialist Democracy and the IWMA.


Statement by José Mesa on the Alliance in Spain, September 1, 1872

Minutes, compiled by Commission Chairman Theodor Cuno, September 5-6, 1872


Sitting of September 5


Sitting of September 6

Report of the Commission to Investigate the Alliance, October-November 1872

Bureau of Foreign agents of The People's Judgment to Lyubavin, September 6, 1872

Report of N. Utin to The Hague Congress of the IWMA, September 7, 1872


Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Alliance Society, September 7, 1872
Cuno's Mandate to Vichard, September 10, 1872

A. Serraillier - Extracts from letters re Bousquet et al., September 23, 1872

To the members of the IWMA, October-November, 1872

General Council's Report on the Alliance to IWMA Members, October-November, 1872

Statement by Paul Vichard, July 18 1873

The Alliance of Socialist Democracy and the IWMA, August 1873



The International Workingmen's Association, 1872

Statement by Jose Mesa on
Alliance in Spain


by Richard Dixon & Alex Miller, for Progress Publishers, 1976.
Transcribed: by



To the delegates of the International Congress of The Hague


In view of the conspiracy hatched against the International by the members of the secret society of the Alliance of Socialist Democracy, a conspiracy which you will have to reveal and render harmless, I would believe that I was failing in a great duty of conscience or betraying the cause of the proletariat endangered by the machinations of the Alliance if I did not contribute as far as I can to clear up the facts and help to arrive at a precise decision in the most grave matter which you are called to resolve.

Consequently and for the purpose mentioned I declare:

That at the end of January of this year Citizen Tomàs Gonzales Morago, a member of the old Madrid Federation and a delegate to this Congress, came to visit me and proposed to assemble all our friends (the members of the Madrid Alliance) to hear the accusations that he intended to make against Francisco Mora for having failed in his duties as a member of the Alliance. In order to demonstrate to me the arguments on which he based his accusation the said Citizen Morago expounded to me all the theories of the Alliance that you are familiar with and gave me to read a letter of Mikhail Bakunin in which was developed a whole Machiavellian plan to establish domination over the working class. This plan was more or less the following:

the Alliance must appear to exist within the International, but in reality at a certain distance from it in order better to observe it and more easily to direct it. For this reason the members who belong to the Councils, committees of sections, etc., must always be in the minority in the Alliance sections.

This basis, the foundation of the accusation which Morago levelled against Mora was that he initiated all the members of the former Regional Federal Council in the secret of the Alliance; in this way the members of the International who could be considered as active formed the majority in the Madrid Section of the Alliance and thus the Council could not be dominated or disorganised, which was the mission of the Alliance according to the admission of Citizen Morago.

The same individual showed me a card or certificate of membership of the Alliance sent from Geneva, but I do not remember on what date.

All this I declare to be true on my word of honour.

José Mesa
September 1, 1872
Spanish original

Back to Contents




The International Workingmen's Association, 1872



Commission to Investigate the Alliance


by Richard Dixon & Alex Miller, for Progress Publishers, 1976.
Transcribed: by

Notes taken in German by Theodor Cuno, Chairman of the Investigation Commission, during the interrogation of witnesses. The notes cover three double sheets (12 pages); each double sheet is signed by Cuno and dated. The numbers (1,2, 3) are written twice on each sheet: in black ink and in red pencil.


Sitting of Thursday, September 5, 1872.

[In the original the heading is preceded by "Record of Interrogation of Witnesses" in pencil, instead of "Minutes of 5/lX 1872" which is struck out.]

Engels reads out the General Council's report on the Alliance and at the same time produces letters from Spain confirming what is stated in the report. (Letter from Perron, Geneva, June 22, 1869.)

2. General Rules of the International Working Men's Association after the Geneva Congress, 1866.

Guillaume explains that the Alliance which sent the letter mentioned in 1) is a different one, i.e., a public Alliance.

The dissolution of the Alliance in Spain was reported in La Emancipacion of June 2, 1872.

3. Reading of the rules of the Alliance which was dissolved in 1869; in the main these rules coincide with those of the Alliance dissolved in 1872 (La Federacion No. 155) but they contain an article saying: No means not leading directly to the triumph of the working-class cause may be used in our struggle.

4. In the rules of the Madrid oficios varios [various professions] there is also an article which reads literally the same as other articles in the rules of dissolved Geneva Alliance.

5. Article 1 of the Alliance dissolved in 1872 is very ambiguous; it reads literally: The Alliance of Socialist Democracy is composed of members of the International and has the aim of spreading the principles of its programme. The "its" here is too equivocal.

Article 2 says that the Alliance is completely secret.

Article 9 says that any member may be expelled without any reason being given.

The results of the agitation conducted by the Alliance were:

1. that many Spanish workers believed that its rules were identical with those of the International;

2. that serious disagreements arose between the Spanish Federal Council and the working masses.

6. The Saragossa Congress brought these matters to light and posed the alternative between the Alliance and the International. [1]

The whole investigation prompts the conclusion that the Alliance recognises two classes in the International, one which is clever and the other which is stupid; the former uses the latter for its special ends.

7. A resolution was adopted by 21 pretended sections in Italy to break entirely with the General Council and to assemble an anti-authoritarian congress [2] in Neuchâtel; but the congress in Neuchâtel has not yet taken place.

Engels, asked what relation exists between the Spaniards and the Italians, replies that he does not know for certain, but that he was told by somebody whom he cannot name that this had been said. A counterorder came from Bakunin in respect of the congress in Neuchâtel. As regards the relation between Spain and Italy and also as regards the counterorder, José Mesa wrote to Engels but he cannot state whether it is really true.

The decision of the Congress at Rimini is open revolt against the General Rules.

8. It is noted that there are differences between the rules of the Alliance in Spain (secret) and those in Switzerland, for instance on atheism and on the right of inheritance.

9. Bakunin's letter to Mora, i.e., to a Spanish friend on April 5, 1872 from Locarno. [In the margin opposite point 9 is written in Cuno's hand: "Documents written in Bakunin's own hand".]

"Dear member of the Alliance and Comrade, our Alliance comrades," etc., notes that persons who have done much for the International are now behaving in a dictatorial and authoritarian manner, one wishes to tolerate these people in the International but to render their influence harmless. Bakunin believes it would be difficult now to hold a congress on the Continent (and yet he reproaches the General Council for not holding a congress in 1871, although that was within a far shorter time of the fall of the Commune). He places his greatest hope in Spain and Italy because of the ardour of its youth struggle. [In the margin is written "Frère Morago".] He speaks everywhere only of the Rules and Programme of the Alliance as of those of the International. The letter notes further the presence of members of the Alliance in Italy, Spain and Switzerland. In Italy Cafiero, the editors of the Campana, the Gazzettino Rosa, and Martello, in Switzerland Guillaume, Neuchâtel, 5, rue de la Place d'Armes, Adhémar Schwitzguébel, engraver. Engels observes that hence in any case either Guillaume's statement that he is not a member of the Alliance is a lie or Bakunin's letter is not true.

10. The Spanish Alliance dissolved itself according to La Federacion No. 155 because its existence had been revealed. That was also the reason for the publication of the rules.

11. The organisation of the Alliance within the International has three grades: 1. International Brethren. 2. National Brethren. 3. A half-secret organisation. It is obvious from the whole organisation that there are three different grades, some of which lead the others by the nose. The whole affair seems to be so exalted and eccentric that the whole Commission is constantly rolling with mirth. This kind of mysticism is generally considered as insanity. The greatest absolutism is manifested in the whole organisation. The most reckless, most untimely nonsense is apparent in the whole business. The idea of the whole business is domination over the International. -- Russian Social-Democracy.

It is proposed to declare the writings of the organisation, of which Bakunin is recognised as the author, to be either insane or two centuries behind the times.

12. Farga answers to the nickname of Rafar. [This sentence is written in pencil, in the margin on p. 8 of the original is the note: "Morago and Guillaume, who maintained regular correspondence with Farga Pellicer, know nobody by the name of Rafar. Pellicer admits that this was his pseudonym."]


Sitting of Friday, September 6, 1872.

says that the founding of the Alliance in Madrid was inspired from Barcelona and he published its whole history in Madrid on June 27, 1872. [3] His pamphlet was neither attacked nor refuted by the people of the Alliance.

It is proved in this pamphlet that the Alliance did not found the International in Spain but that it appeared after the International. The Alliance has been established in eight places and has done much for the movement.

He maintains that it has never been dissolved in Spain. Mora and others demanded its dissolution, but the Saragossa Congress did not comply with this demand.

The best proof of this is the Madrid circular of June 2, 1872 signed: Mesa, Pages, Francisco Mora, Paulino [Pablo] Iglesias, Innocente Calleja, Valentin Saenz, Angel Mora, Luis Castillon, Hipolito Pauly.

The Cadiz Section alone replied to that circular.

As proof of this he quotes the statement published in La Emancipacion that the dissolution had not been accepted, a statement which nobody refuted.

Lafargue, Mora and others were expelled from the Spanish Federation for denouncing members of the Alliance; and he [Lafargue] believes this because there was no other ground. Lafargue considered this denunciation to be his duty because an article in the Spanish rules drawn up at the Valencia Conference forbids any other organisation within the International.

Lafargue knows Bakunin's handwriting and knows also of a letter written by Bakunin to a member of the International in Lisbon which was published in La Emancipacion on August 10, 1872 and has never been refuted. The letter attacked the General Council, but the Portuguese did not consider it worthy of a reply.

The Alliance published in Barcelona a statement about its dissolution and its Rules, but Lafargue believes it has never yet been dissolved there either, because the Barcelona members supported the convening of the Neuchâtel Congress.


Cuno asks Schwitzguébel whether he was ever a member of the secret society known as the Alliance. He gives an answer in writing (see No. 1, p. ).

In respect of the second question: Do you think that society still exists? (see No. 2, p. ).

To the first question Schwitzguébel answered neither yes nor no because it is a "question of principle'.

Asked whether he thought Bakunin could lie -- (see No. 3, p. ).

Fourth question: If Bakunin named you as being a member of the secret Alliance, would you accept his assertion? (see No. 4, p. ).

Fifth question: Bakunin mentions you in a letter as being a member of the secret Alliance: what have you to answer? (see No. 5, p. ).

Guillaume affirms that he never belonged to the open Alliance and refuses to give any information on the secret Alliance.

Marselau affirms that the Alliance dissolved itself after the Saragossa Congress. He was in prison during the Saragossa Congress. He was told that the Alliance had been dissolved; the Madrid members who had signed the circular of June 2, 1872 informed him of this there and he replied that this Alliance did not exist as far as he was concerned because it held no sittings. He doesn't know whether any other section besides that of Cadiz replied to the circular in question.

He never corresponded with anybody in the Alliance, either in Switzerland or elsewhere.

The Alliance in Seville was organised before the International in Spain; to be precise, the International in Seville was founded on May 28, 1871.

He was sent from Barcelona a membership card of the Alliance of Socialist Democracy for 1870. In 1871 he was told about the dissolution of the Alliance.

Soriano tried to persuade him and others to found a section of the International without having or knowing its programme. Only in Seville did he get to know any members of the Alliance. He cannot prove that he was in the International before 1871.

Lafargue and Mora were expelled before the question of the Alliance arose, because of an article in La Emancipacion and this was announced in the paper of the Madrid Federation.

He knows nothing" about the dissolution of the Alliance in Barcelona.

Does he know about a letter written by Bakunin? He recognised the Programme of the Alliance, and in that feels himself honoured.

Guillaume. The Barcelonians never welcomed the Rimini proposals, for these were nonsense in view of the small number of Italians, and he has in his possession the official despatches of the Italians to the Jura people and the Spaniards not to go to Neuchâtel, he persists in the statement which he made to Cuno in person.

He will not answer any of the five questions and to the third he answers that Bakunin cannot lie.

Cafiero affirms that he was never a member of the public Alliance. He will not answer questions about the secret Alliance or in general any questions about secret societies; he will answer when he is asked questions about a society which is contrary to the principles of the International.

He admits white lies but does not think Bakunin capable of a deliberate lie.

Walter retires from the commission because there are no proofs against the accused. See document W.

Wróblewski does not know Bakunin's handwriting, nor does he know who provided the General Council with evidence on the secret society of the Alliance. He is morally convinced that the Alliance exists and also that Bakunin is its leader. Bakunin is also a member of a "Comité Rouge" which has set itself the aim of revolutionising Europe. He has no proofs or evidence in his possession. He is convinced that the secret Alliance was founded after the Commune everywhere. He does not wish to reveal the moral and material proofs which he has and will not do so. He does not know the rules of the Alliance.

(Splingard does not regard this as moral proof.)

Marx can supply no proof that the Alliance has not been dissolved in Spain.

The secret rules which have been printed are not the true rules. He confirms what Lafargue said.

There is collusion between the members of the Rimini Congress and the Barcelonians, in respect of the latest publications in La Federacion. He is of the opinion that Cafiero is morally a member of the Alliance.

The rules of the Alliance in the various countries have appeared in different forms but they all have the aim of misusing the International.

He cites the official proofs of the existence of this secret society which have been published by the Russian court of justice.

The Geneva Alliance has never received the General Council's agreement to its reconstitution.

The Alliance has been dissolved three times.

Before the reading of the following document Marx says that Bakunin made Russian translations of Capital.

This information was given to Marx personally and it is a matter of not allowing certain misdeeds to become public.

Bakunin sent only two sheets of translation.

A letter, probably written by Nechayev, is read out.

Threats against a student belonging to the secret society if he continues to work for Bakunin. Bureau des Agents étrangers de la Société révolutionnaire russe: Justice du Peuple, 25/13 1870 No. 73. The letter contains threats and is definitely a document of a secret society to which Bakunin personally belongs. Address of the letter:

Herrn Lyubavin
Fandgasse 16, c/o Widow Wald

Bakunin says in his rules that the whole organisation is far more widespread than the rules say.

Morago says he cannot say whether more sections besides that of Cadiz replied to the circular of Mora, etc. He had belonged to the Alliance before the Saragossa Congress, but he withdrew earlier still because his companions did not consider the further existence of the Alliance advisable, since the members of the Alliance were not such as they had been at the beginning and instead of dominating the International as the rules prescribed the Alliance was dominated by the International.

He cannot say whether the Alliance still exists in Spain.

The reason for his leaving the Alliance was that Mora and the others were not really the men he had taken them for.

In reply to question 3, whether Bakunin was capable of lying, he says that he does not know Bakunin sufficiently well.

In reply to question 4, is it true or not when Bakunin says that he is a member of the Alliance, he answers: decidedly not!

He does not know what Bakunin means by "Frere" and he earnestly wishes to learn the truth about Bakunin.

Zhukovsky says that Bakunin was negotiating with a student and a bookseller to translate Marx's Capital. The outbreak of the Nechayev conspiracy took place at the same time. He agreed with Bakunin on payment for the translation of Capital but he heard that the deal could not materialise because Nechayev threatened the translator; but he does not think Bakunin capable of making use of a secret society to force somebody to do something. But it is a fact that Capital was translated by someone he does not know.

He has no relations with Bakunin. In reply to question 3 he can only give the same answer as Schwitzguébel and Guillaume.

Every conspirator is sometimes forced to lie.

Dupont can say nothing about the existence of the Alliance, either materially or morally.

Serraillier, after reading a letter of 1.9.72 to Cher Lalagarde signed A. Goltz, replies:

He believes in the existence of the secret Alliance, is morally convinced of it and bases this conviction on the documents produced by Engels.

He knows the rules of the Alliance dissolved in Spain.

He sees the same persons in the Alliance in Geneva and in Spain. In respect of the third Alliance he has documents which do not however directly prove that anybody is a member of this society.

The documents which he has do not contain the expressions allie, frere, etc.

To question 3 he answers that Bakunin is capable of lying.

He knows two different handwritings of Bakunin, one with big letters and one with small ones.

He does not know the draft organisation of a secret society drawn up by Bakunin.

He knows people who have made attempts against our organisation. La Emancipation of Toulouse published a number of articles against our organisation signed by Razoua and the two documents signed by Malon.

Dupont states:

If Bakunin is involved in the third Alliance, then the first and the second as well as the third are a series of conspiracies against our Association, led by Bakunin.

1st proof: In Paris he knew several members of the International who invited him to a sitting at Bedouge's in the Faubourg du Temple. Here the propaganda of the Alliance was to be finally determined (end of 1868); but he did not go there.

Six weeks after the Basle Congress a circular was already sent to all the countries where the International existed to bring about the founding of this society and offices were already established everywhere.

In Lyons Bakunin held a conference with Guillaume, Bastelica and Varlin, at which the Federation was to be founded in France. The General Council received official information about this conference as well as the rules and other information.

Serraillier. In La Emancipation of November 29, 1871 a report was published pointing out that the International was split into two parties, only one of which was genuine; the reply was extracted from the Revolution Sociale of the Jura people by Razoua.

In the issue of December 19, 1871 he replied: Which are the elements the General Council expelled because they were too intelligent? -- Bousquet, secretary to the Central Police Commissioner of Beziers.

Letter from Béziers dated November 13, 1871. It demands the expulsion from the International of Police Commissioner Bousquet.

Nevertheless the same Bousquet was given full powers by the Jura Committee and the relevant document was signed by the Béziers Committee (Comité d'Action révolutionnaire).

A letter dated Narbonne, July 24, 1872 confirmed that this police spy was a member of the Alliance (see document W).

A letter dated Toulouse, 14.7.72 from "Swarm" corroborated the story about Bousquet.

Letter about Louis Marchand. Bordeaux 24.11.71 showed him, also a member of the Alliance, to be guilty of spying and treachery.

Charles Daussac confirms the last letter:

"...That is the same Marchand who is now secretary of the society of refugees at Geneva". Bordeaux, November 22, 1871.

A Russian. member of the Alliance. came to Paris straight to Walter to ask him about his breaking away from the General Council.

Paris, 14.8.72. Letter from Walter.

Letter from Avignon, August 24, 1872, from Eduard Chamoux, in which a certain St. Martin, a member of the Alliance, is accused and convicted of being bought by the bourgeois.

Letter from Walter (see document W). He demands that the Jura members be expelled from the International (see document W).

Malon signed mandates in the name of the Jura people and he is convicted of being a venal traitor.

Swarm says about Bousquet that he is police commissioner in Béziers and came to an agreement with the Versaillais.

He works for the Jura people and for Bakunin. The proofs are based on his correspondence. He is one of the leaders who initiated the agitation against the organisation of the International.


1. The Congress of the Spanish Federation of the International at Saragossa was held from April 4 to 14, 1872. The Congress rejected the Swiss Bakuninists' demand for the immediate convocation of a general congress, but, under pressure from the anarchists, it adopted a resolution to support the Belgian Federation's proposal for a revision of the General Rules of the Association in order to strengthen the autonomy of the local organisations. The Congress rejected the proposal of some Bakuninist delegates to revise the Spanish Federation's Rules in. an anarchist spirit. When a new Federal Council was elected, however, the Bakuninists managed to secure a preponderance for members of the Alliance.

2. On August 4-6, 1872, a conference of the Italian anarchist groups gathered at Rimini. In a special resolution adopted on August 6, the conference called upon the sections of the International to send delegates, not to the regular congress at The Hague, but to a separate congress of Bakuninists to be held on September 2, 1872, at Neuchâtel. This splitting proposal was not supported by any of the International's sections, not even by the Bakuninist organisations. Having received the resolutions of the Rimini Conference, Engels addressed the Italian sections on behalf of the General Council and exposed this Bakuninist manoeuvre (see The General Council. 1871-1872. pp. 451-52).

3. This refers to the address to the members of the International in Spain. It was drafted by Lafargue on behalf of the New Madrid, Federation on June 27, 1872, and exposed the secret activities of the Alliance. The address was published as a leaflet entitled A los internacionales de la región Española, Madrid, 1872.


Back to Contents




The International Workingmen's Association, 1872


Report of the Commission

Nominated by the Delegates of the Hague Congress on the Proposal of the
General Council of the International Working Men's Association in order
to Disclose the Activities of the Secret Society Known as The Alliance



in French in October-November 1872;
Translated: by Richard Dixon and Alex Miller, 1976, Progress Publishers;
Transcribed: by, June 1996.




At its sitting of September 5, the Congress, on the proposal of Citizen Engels speaking on behalf of the General Council, nominated a commission of five members to draw up a report on the activities of the secret society founded by Citizen Bakunin and known as The Alliance, and to propose that the Congress vote the measures necessary to put a stop to these activities if they were contrary to the principles and aims of the International Working Men's Association.

As members of this commission, the Congress nominated citizens Vichard, Cuno, Walter, Splingard (the latter having been nominated at the express request of the delegates who felt themselves implicated by the accusation brought by the General Council, and also at the request of the Belgian delegates), and Citizen Potel.

This commission assembled on the same evening to undertake the task assigned to it.

On assembling, it immediately defined its obligations as follows:

Chairman—Citizen T. Cuno, delegate for Stuttgart.
Secretaries—citizens Lucain and Walter, delegates for France.
Members—citizens Paul Vichard, delegate for France, and Roch Splingard, delegate for Bassin de Charleroi (Belgium).

Thus constituted, the sitting commenced. It was decided to listen to the accused separately and to all those who felt that they must throw light on the activities of the society in question.

On behalf of the General Council, Citizen Engels delivered the following report.

Document No. 1

After reading his report, Citizen Engels requested the commission to insert in its minutes that Citizen Guillaume, during the sitting of the Congress, when the nomination of the commission was being requested, denied the accusation of belonging to the society known as the secret Alliance. [Bottom of page is here torn off and other side is blank.]

After its first sitting, having acquainted itself with the above-mentioned rules, recognised by all members of the commission as having been written in the hand of Citizen Bakunin, and then with the letter addressed by this citizen to Citizen X [Mora] and naming citizens Guillaume and Schwitzguébel as belonging to the society, the commission became convinced of the existence of a secret society with an aim, shameful and consequently inacceptable, in flagrant opposition to the Rules of the International Working Men's Association.

It therefore only remained to investigate two matters:

1. If the citizens who had belonged to this society at its inception and who had been simultaneously members of the Association, still belonged to it.

2. Who these citizens were, in order to inform all the members of the Association about their belonging to the two societies.

After this, the sitting of the commission was closed and deferred until the following day, September 6.


Citizen Lafargue, called as witness, testified as follows:

The existence of a secret society within the Association was revealed to me after its introduction into Spain.

It was initially formed as a section of the International Working Men's Association and with Citizen Fanelli as its chairman.

This citizen soon afterwards initiated citizens Mora and Lorenzo and, on June 9, 1872, citizens Morago, Cordova y Lopez received from Switzerland cards confirming their status as brethren.

In reply to Citizen Cuno, Lafargue stated that the existence of the Alliance in Spain had been subsequent to the Basle Congress; that it had always been eminently secret; that it had been introduced into Spain after the foundation of the International Working Men's Association; that, after requesting the General Council to recognise it as a section formed by members of the Alliance, they had continued to keep their organisation secret.

He added that Mora had demanded, at the Congress of Saragossa, the dissolution of the Alliance, but it was not dissolved at that time.

However, on August 4, 1872, Morago, Marselau and other members of the Alliance declared on behalf of the Spanish Federal Council that the Alliance had been dissolved.

Citizen Splingard asked Lafargue whether it was he who had disclosed the existence of the Alliance in Spain.

Lafargue replied that he had considered it his duty to inform members of the International about the existence of a society with Rules different from those of the Association and whose members' still belonged to the International.

It was then that Morago had obtained from the Madrid Federation, or rather from its Federal Council, of which a majority of five members openly belonged to the Alliance, the expulsion of Citizen Lafargue and his friends from the council.

Citizen Cuno asked Lafargue if he had known anything about the letter from Citizen Bakunin inserted below.

Document No. 2

Lafargue replied that he had known about this letter after it had been sent, but he could not remember the exact date.

After Citizen Lafargue, Citizen Schwitzguébel gave evidence.

He made the following statement.

In reply to the chairman [answers to 5 questions put by the chairman and written in Schwitzguébel's hand on 6 separate sheets of paper]:


1st question: Do you believe that there is a secret society called The Alliance?

I declare that, in my opinion, those who demanded an inquiry into the Alliance did so because they felt that the Alliance under accusation would have been, or still is (for those who claimed its existence) harmful to the International. Now I hold that an international Congress cannot judge its members when they are accused, except for acts affecting the Association. I request to be shown how and in what way I could have harmed the International.

I do not admit that the International, its Council or its congresses, have been elevated into legal institutions to open inquiries into secret societies.


2nd question: Do you believe that this secret society -- the secret Alliance—still exists?

In conformity with my statement on the 1st question, it would be entirely pointless for me to answer the 2nd question.


3rd question, put to Schwitzguébel by the commission: Do you consider Bakunin capable of telling lies?

I know Bakunin. I have a very high opinion of him. I think that, like all men, he happens to make mistakes, but I am profoundly convinced that he would never commit a mistake deliberately or out of disloyalty.


4th question—to Schwitzguébel. If Bakunin named you as belonging to the secret Alliance, would you accept his statement about you?

My relations with Bakunin have been of a close nature. I do not hesitate to declare that these relations have contributed strongly to the development of my revolutionary-socialist views and to the action which must inevitably result from them. I do not know in what sense Bakunin has interpreted these relations.


5th question—to Schwitzguébel. Bakunin recommends you in one letter as belonging, with Guillaume, to the secret Alliance. What is your answer to this?

I was accepted into the Alliance when it was being formed in Geneva as a public section of the International. I was introduced by Citizen Duval, a member of the Congress, when I was present at the first Romance Congress which was held in Geneva on January 37 1869, to Citizen Bakunin, with whom I discussed the Alliance's programme. I accepted this programme. Since then, I have merely received a card confirming my admittance. As it was a public matter, I in no way concealed the Alliance or the card, and I reported all these things to the members of the International in the Jura valley.

I know that Bakunin has kept up the habit, in his correspondence, of using the term "allié" [member of Alliance] when referring to men who have not rejected the Alliance programme.


After this statement, Citizen Splingard asked Schwitzguébel if he was still a member of the secret Alliance, since Bakunin had named him in his letters as a member.

Schwitzguébel replied: "That he would not question the word of a friend whom he respected." (Textually) [Unlike Schwitzguébel's other answers the transcript of the last one is finished in the secretary's handwriting.—Ed.]

Citizen Schwitzguébel's statement being finished, the commission called Citizen Guillaume.

He categorically declared that he had never taken part in the public Alliance, but when asked if he had been, or still was, a member of the secret Alliance, he refused to make any statement on the matter, saying that he was opposed to all interrogation on principle.

Citizen Lucain pointed out to him that he had accepted the nomination of the commission and had voted for its members, and consequently he had no right to repudiate its action.

Citizen Splingard observed to him that Schwitzguébel had just been answering questions and had agreed to join the commission in order to learn what was going to happen in it, and that he had been nominated by him, Guillaume.

Guillaume refused to reply and left the hall.

Statement by Citizen Marselau

Citizen Cuno asked him if he admitted that there was in Spain a secret society within the International.

Marselau replied that the Alliance was secret, but that it had been dissolved at the Congress of Saragossa, and he referred to Citizen Mora as having demanded its dissolution.

Asked by the chairman if any sections other than the one at Cadiz had demanded the dissolution of the secret Alliance, he replied: "Not at the Congress, but at private meetings most of the members present had demanded its dissolution."

Asked if he had warned the General Council about the dissolution of the secret Alliance, he replied that he had forgotten owing to negligence, but that in any case it had been difficult for him, since he had been in prison.

Citizen Splingard asked Marselau if he had been in contact with Switzerland.

Marselau: No, not personally, but I think my friends were.

Chairman: Did the Alliance exist in Spain before the International?

Marselau: I have heard as much, and I know that this was so at Cadiz.
Its foundation at Seville dates back to
May 28, 1871.

Asked by the chairman if he had been in possession of the secret Alliance's Rules, Marselau replied:

"I was sent the Alliance's Rules printed at Geneva in the month of January 1871." He had been shown the secret Alliance's manuscript programme in March or April 1872.

Asked by the chairman if the Alliance still existed, Marselan replied that he has been told by one of his friends that it had been dissolved. Incidentally, he had not known that there existed in Spain other sections like the one to which he had belonged. Moreover, he had, like his friends, hitherto believed that this was the International's programme.

Citizen Vichard asked: How could it come about, if the Alliance no longer existed, that Lafargue and his friends were expelled from the Madrid Federation?

Marselau: It is the federation, and I did not know that there were so many of the Alliance's members in it. [Here follows a note in red pencil: "It must be made perfectly clear in the summing-up that there are 3 kinds of initiates into the Alliance." The next page (p. 13) of the manuscript is missing.—Ed.]

Splingard tried hard to find out from Marselau if the secret Alliance still existed in Spain and, in view of Marselau's silence, he announced his regret that he had agreed to take part in the commission, since those who had nominated him had no confidence in him.

Statement by Citizen Marx

The chairman asked him if he knew that the Alliance had not been dissolved.

Citizen Marx replied that he was convinced that the secret Alliance was still active within the International, but in such cases written proof was always lacking and it was only by accumulating a mass of different evidence that one could arrive at an understanding of the truth.

He affirmed that he knew from a reliable source that Citizen Morago, alone among all the Spaniards, was a first grade member of the Alliance.

He showed a letter from Citizen Cafiero, who had complained only shortly before the Congress [The words "its date" are written in red pencil in the margin.—Ed.] about the existence of the Alliance in Italy, but the week before the Congress, having paid a visit to Citizen Bakunin, he had left the latter with quite different ideas, since he had teamed up with members of the Alliance in order to attack the General Council.

Citizen Marx then read from a letter, addressed to a Russian publisher, in which those belonging to a Russian secret society, of which Bakunin was a member, threatened this publisher that they would give him serious attention if he again demanded the return of a sum of 300 rubles which he had given to Citizen Bakunin in advance payment for a translation.


Statement by Citizen Morago

On being questioned by the Chairman, Citizen Morago stated: that he had resigned with his friends from the Alliance because it had exceeded the goal which it had set itself.

The Chairman asked him: Do you think that there is a secret society called the Alliance?

Morago: Yes.

Chairman: On what date did you cease to belong to the Alliance society?

Morago: I don't remember.

Chairman: If Bakunin named you as belonging to the secret Alliance, would you accept his statement about you?

Morago replied: It is not true.


Statement by Citizen Zhukovsky

Asked by the Chairman to tell what he knew, Zhukovsky replied:

Bakunin is not well off. A young man came to ask him to translate Capital. He had heard that the proposal had come from a publisher in St. Petersburg who had advanced Bakunin 300 rubles. Citizen Nechayev had come to visit Bakunin in Geneva and had told him that he would arrange the matter with the publisher, who was asking for the work as promised or the return of the money.

Moreover, Zhukovsky declared that he had heard this version from Citizen Bakunin and he had then offered to undertake the translation for the remainder of the sum promised.

He admitted that there were threats, but he said that they came from Nechayev.

He added that he had heard that the publisher.... [breaks off here]



Letter from Bakunin to Fransisco Mora in Madrid

(Written in French)

April 5, 1872

Dear Ally and Comrade,

As our friends at Barcelona have invited me to write to you, I do so with all the more pleasure since I have learned that I also, like my friends, our allies of the Jura Federation, have become, in Spain as much as in other countries, the target for the calumnies of the London General Council. It is indeed a sad thing that in this time of terrible crisis, when the fate of the proletariat of all Europe is being decided for many decades to come, and when all the friends of the proletariat, of humanity and justice, should unite fraternally to make a front against the common enemy, the world of the privileged which has been organised into a state—it is very sad, I say, that men who have, moreover, rendered great services to the International in the past, should be impelled today by evil authoritarian passions, should lower themselves to falsification and the sowing of discord, instead of creating everywhere the free union which alone can create strength.

To give you a fair idea of the line which we are taking, I have only one thing to tell you. Our programme is yours; it is the very one which you proclaimed at your Congress last year, and if you stay faithful to it, you are with us for the simple reason that we are with you. We detest the principle of dictatorship, governmentalism and authority, just as you detest them; we are convinced that all political power is an infallible source of depravity for those who govern, and a cause of servitude for those who are governed.—The state signifies domination, and human nature is so made that all domination becomes exploitation. As enemies of the state in all its manifestations anyway, we certainly do not wish to tolerate it within the International. We regard the London Conference and the resolutions which it passed as an ambitious intrigue and a coup d'état, and that is why we have protested, and shall continue protesting to the end. I am not touching on personal questions, alas! they will take up too much time at the next world Congress, if this Congress takes place, which I strongly doubt myself; for if things continue to proceed as they are doing, there will soon no longer be a single point on the continent of Europe where the delegates of the proletariat will be able to assemble in order to debate in freedom. All eyes are now fixed on Spain, and on the outcome of your Congress. What will come of it? This letter will reach you, if it reaches you at all, after this Congress. Will it find you at the height of revolution or at the height of reaction? All our friends in Italy, France and Switzerland are waiting for news from your country with unbearable anxiety.

You doubtless know that the International and our dear Alliance have progressed enormously in Italy of late. The people, in the country as much as in the towns, are now in an entirely revolutionary situation, that is to say, they are economically desperate; the masses are beginning to organise themselves in a most serious manner and their interests are beginning to become ideas.—Up to now, what was lacking in Italy was not instincts, but organisation and an idea. Both are coming into being, so that Italy, after Spain and with Spain, is perhaps the most revolutionary country at this moment. Italy has what other countries lack: a fervent and energetic youth completely at a loss, with no prospects, with no way out, and which, despite its bourgeois origins, is not morally and intellectually exhausted like the bourgeois youth of other countries. Today, it is throwing itself headlong into revolutionary socialism accepting our entire programme, the programme of the Alliance. Mazzini, our mighty antagonist of genius, is dead, the Mazzini party is completely disorganised, and Garibaldi is letting himself be carried away more and more by that youth which bears his name, but which is going, or rather running, infinitely further ahead of him. I have sent to our friends in Barcelona an Italian address; I shall soon send them others. It is good and it is necessary that the Allies in Spain should enter into direct relations with those in Italy. Are you receiving the Italian socialist newspapers? I recommend above all: the Eguaglianza of Girgenti, Sicily; the Campana of Naples; the Fascio Operoio of Bologna; Il Gazzettino Rosa, above all Il Martello, of Milan—unfortunately the latter has been banned and all the editors imprisoned.

In Switzerland, I recommend to you two Allies: James Guillaume (Switzerland, Neuchâtel, 5, rue de la Place d'Armes) and Adhémar Schwitzguébel, engraver (member and corresponding secretary of the Committee of the Jura Federation), Switzerland, Jura Bernois, Sonvillier, Mr. Adhémar Schwitzguébel, engraver. (Bakunin's address follows.)

Alliance and fraternity,

M. Bakunin

Please convey my greetings to brother Morago, and ask him to send me his newspaper.

Are you receiving the bulletin of the Jura Federation?

Please burn this letter, as it contains names.


Back to Contents





The International Workingmen's Association, 1872


Bureau of Foreign Agents of The


 People’s Judgment Society to Lyubavin




Translated: by Richard Dixon & Alex Miller, for Progress Publishers, 1976.
Transcribed: by




Letter written on paper bearing stamp:
"Bureau of foreign agents of the Russian revolutionary society The People's Judgment."
Above the text of the letter on the left is the date:
"25/13 February 1870", and on the right: "No.73."

To the Russian student Lyubavin, resident in Heidelberg

Dear Sir,

On the instructions of the Bureau I have the honour to inform you of the following:

We have received from Russia from the Committee a paper which. incidentally, concerns you. Here are the passages which refer to you:

"It has come to the knowledge of the Committee that some of the young Russian gentlemen resident abroad, liberal dilettantes, are beginning to exploit the forces and knowledge of people of a certain trend, profiting by their straitened situation. Precious personalities burdened with unskilled labour by dilettante kulaks, are deprived of the possibility to work for the emancipation of mankind. Among others, a certain Lyubavin (c/o Widow Wald, 16 Fandgasse, Heidelberg) recruited the well-known Bakunin to work on a translation of a book by Marx and, like a true bourgeois kulak, profiting by his desperate financial situation, paid him an advance and, on the strength of it, made him undertake not to abandon the work before it was finished. Thus, thanks to this young gentleman Lyubavin who uses others to show his zeal for Russian enlightenment, Bakunin is deprived of the possibility to take part in the genuine, urgent cause of the Russian people, his participation in which is indispensable.... It is obvious to anybody who is not a scoundrel how abominable, bourgeois and immoral such an attitude of Lyubavin and his like to the cause of the people's emancipation and those who work for it is, and how little it differs from the tricks of the police....

"The Committee instructs the Foreign Bureau to declare to Lyubavin:

"1) that if he and parasites like him consider a translation of Marx useful to Russia at the present time, let them devote their own precious efforts to it instead of studying chemistry and preparing for themselves a lucrative situation as professor at the public expense.

"2) that he (Lyubavin) should immediately inform Bakunin that he frees him from all moral obligation to continue the translation in consequence of the Russian revolutionary Committee's demand."

* * *

Then follow points which we consider premature to inform you of, relying in part on your perspicacity and prudence.

So, dear Sir, fully assured that you, understanding with whom you are dealing, will be so obliging as to free us from the regrettable necessity to address ourselves to you a second time by less civilised means.

We suggest to you:

1) Immediately on receipt of this message to telegraph Bakunin that you release him from the moral obligation to continue the translation.

2) Immediately to send him a detailed letter enclosing this document and the envelope in which you have received it.

3) Immediately to send a letter to our nearest agents (if only at the Geneva address you know) in which you will inform them that you have received the Bureau's suggestion No. so-and-so and carried it out.

Strictly punctilious in our relations with others, we have reckoned the day on which you will receive this letter; we suggest that in your turn you be no less punctilious and do not delay carrying it out so as not to force us to resort to extraordinary and therefore somewhat rough measures.

We make bold to assure you, dear Sir, that our attention to you and your actions will henceforth be far more correct.

And it depends on you yourself that our friendly relations should grow stronger, and should not be changed into inimical ones.

I have the honour to be, dear Sir, your devoted servant

Secretary of the Bureau of Agents

Read out at the sitting of the investigation commission on
September 6, 1872
Russian original


Back to Contents





The International Workingmen's Association, 1872


Report of the Commission of

Inquiry into the Alliance Society


Translated: by Richard Dixon & Alex Miller, for Progress Publishers, 1976.
Transcribed: by
Published: in
Brussels newspaper La Liberté September 15, 1872, which also carried a report on the Congress and Bulletin de la Fédération jurassienne, September 15-October 4, 1872.

Text in Lucain's handwriting on three pages;
Submitted to the Congress on
September 7, 1872.

On October 6, 1872, the same newspaper printed the Spanish delegates' protest against the way in which they had been described in the report. Following this, Lucain, a member of the Investigation Commission, write to the editors of the paper informing them of the unsatisfactory way in which they had published the report and of the slanderous nature of the Spanish delegates' letter.

In the issue of October 20, 1872, the editors of La Liberté published this letter together with the official report of the Investigation Commission, which fully corresponds to the manuscript that has been preserved. Different readings in these texts are given in footnotes.


    As the Commission of Inquiry has not had time to present you with a complete report, it can only supply you with an evaluation based on the documents communicated to it and on the statements which it has received.

After having heard citizens Engels, Karl Marx, Wróblewski, Dupont, Serraillier and Swarm for the Prosecution [Liberté has "Association" instead of "Prosecution"]

And citizens Guillaume, Schwitzguébel, Zhukovsky, Morago, Marselau and Farga Pellicer, accused of belonging to the Alliance secret society,

The commission announces:

1. That the secret Alliance founded on the basis of rules completely opposed to those of the International Working Men's Association, has existed, but it has not been sufficiently proved to the commission that it still exists.

2. That it has been proved, by draft rules and by letters signed "Bakunin", that this citizen has attempted, perhaps successfully, to found in Europe a society [Liberté has "secret society"] called the Alliance, with rules completely at variance, from the social and political point of view, with those of the International Working Men's Association.

3. That Citizen Bakunin has resorted to dishonest dealings with the aim of appropriating the whole or part of another person's property, which constitutes an act of fraud.

Furthermore, in order to avoid fulfilling his obligations, he or his agents have resorted to intimidation.

On these grounds:

The citizen-members of the commission request that the Congress:

1. Should expel Citizen Bakunin from the International Working Men's Association.

2. Should likewise expel citizens Guillaume and Schwitzguébel, being convinced that they still belong to a society [Liberté has "secret society founded by Bakunin"] called Alliance.

3. Since, during the course of the inquiry, it has been proved to us that citizens Malon, Bousquet -- the latter being secretary to the Police Commissioner for Béziers (France) -- and Louis Marchand, who has been residing at Bordeaux, France, have all been guilty of acts aimed at the disorganisation of the International Working Men's Association, the commission likewise demands their expulsion from the Association.

4. As regards citizens Morago, Farga Pellicer, Marselan, Alerini and Zhukovsky, the commission, bearing in mind their formal statements that they no longer belong to the said [Liberté has "secret"] Alliance society, requests that the Congress should consider them not implicated in the matter.

To ensure their responsibility, the members of the commission request that the documents which have been communicated to them, as also the statements made, should be published by them in the official organ of the Association.

Chairman Th. F. Cuno (delegate for Stuttgart and Düsseldorf)
Secretary Lucain (delegate for France)
Members of the commission Paul Vichard (delegate for France)

The Hague, in the commission,
September 7, 1872

[Splingard's statement is inserted by him after the signatures of the other members of the commission. -- Ed.]

I object to the report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Alliance, and I reserve the right to give my reasons before the Congress. Only one thing, in my opinion, has been established at the debate, and that is Mr. Bakunin's attempt to organise a secret society within the International.

As for the expulsions proposed by the majority of the Commission of Inquiry, I state that I cannot give my views as a member of the said commission without having received a mandate on this matter. I announce my intention of opposing the commission before the Congress.

Roch Splingard


    The members of the Commission inform the Congress that Citizen Walter has felt it necessary to send a letter this morning to the chairman of the commission.

In this letter, he apologises for not being able to continue taking part in the commission's work owing to circumstances beyond his control.

Chairman: Th. F. Cuno
Secretary: Lucain
Members: Roch Splingard, Paul Vichard


Back to Contents






The International Workingmen's Association, 1872


Cuno's mandate to Vichard


Translated: by Richard Dixon & Alex Miller, for Progress Publishers, 1976.
Transcribed: by

In view of my departure for America, I hereby authorise Citizen Vichard to publish the Report and the Documents on the inquiry into the Alliance affair, and to sign my name.

Th. F. Cuno
Chairman of the Commission of Inquiry into the Alliance
The Hague
September 10, 1872


Back to Contents






The International Workingmen's Association, 1872


Extracts from letters Concerning

 Bousquet, Marchand, etc.

Compiled by A. Serraillier


Translated: by Richard Dixon & Alex Miller, for Progress Publishers, 1976.
Transcribed: by

This document is made up of excerpts from letters written by French correspondents in which they expose the intrigues of the Alliance members on the eve of the Hague Congress. These excerpts were selected by the Corresponding Secretary for France, Auguste Serraillier, and signed by Paul Vichard, member of the Investigation Commission. The document was sent to Lucain, who at that time was working on the Commission's report. Marx and Engels made use of these excerpts in writing The Alliance of Socialist Democracy and the International Working Men's Association.




Abel Bousquet

1st letter.

"You may count on Citizen Abel Bousquet's absolute devotion to the social cause. He is a member of the Batignolles les Ternes Section and is perfectly well known to citizens Malon, Lefrancais, Cournet, Bazoun, etc., etc.

"He is Chairman of the Socialist Committee of Béziers."

Signed -- A. Callas

2nd letter -- November 13, 1871 -- arrived 2 days later.

"...convinced that our mutual friend, Citizen A. Callas, has been badly let down in that this citizen relied on M. Bousquet, Chairman of the Electoral Committee of Béziers, and the latter is most unworthy of this, since he is secretary to the Central Police Commissioner of Béziers....

"That Citizen A. C. has been contemptibly deceived and that steps should be taken at once;

"That it is important for the International Working Men's Association to consist of workers, not policemen.

"In agreement with Citizen Callas, who has recognised the mistake of which he was the victim, we shall ask Citizen Serraillier to regard as cancelled the last letter sent to him by Citizen Callas and, moreover, we shall ask him, if it can be done, to have M. Bousquet expelled from the International.

"By authority of the socialist democracy of Béziers -- J. Canutis -- Henri Françis, Ales Azam -- Pagés Urbain -- Prunar -- Gilles.

"By authority of the socialist democracy of Pezenas -- A. Callas."

See the issue of La Emancipation for December 19, 1871 in which this person is publicly denounced. In another issue of this newspaper, Malon signs a reply in which it is stated that he does not know this gentleman.

See a letter from Toulouse denouncing A. Bousquet as a brigadier in the security police; also a letter sent to The Hague, and another one from Narbonne confirming this denunciation and signed by J. Martin.


Louis Marchand

Extract from a letter by the corresponding secretary of Bordeaux dated November 24, 1871 in reply to a letter denouncing the intrigues of the Jura members.

"Bordeaux has Only very indirectly participated in the various movements mentioned by you. Some of us (I am omitting the names for the time being) are closely tied up with the Paris delegate who, we suppose, at present belongs to the Alliance. After a complete fiasco in Bordeaux and his return to Switzerland, the delegate obtained from one of us a duplicate of our records. Row was it handed over to him? This is what we are going to investigate. What purpose did it serve? The rumours about which you have been telling us. For your information, we have never ceased to have the same ideas as the General Council."

Extract from another letter from Bordeaux signed by Charles Daussac and dated November 22, 1871.

"...accompanied by a policeman and by a man named Louis Marchand who had come, it was said, from Bordeaux to organise a coup and then bring about its failure. (I quite liked this Marchand for his air of calm dedication, but I'm writing to you, citizen, about what I heard, not about what I liked.)"

P.S. dated November 24 (in the same letter):

"Today, the 24th, I have learned details about L. Marchand's stay in Bordeaux which confirm the first story I heard about this. According to these facts, if they are accurate, this man obviously belongs to the police.

"He is the Louis Marchand who is now secretary of the society of refugees in Geneva."



"On May 17, a certain Brousse, resident in Montpellier, stopped off in P. under pretext of paying a visit to one of his female relatives, but in fact to engage in propaganda for the dissidents.... Towards one o'clock in the afternoon, he met some of our members.... Unfortunately, I wasn't warned soon enough to unmask this scoundrel who had come to sow discord amongst us. Two friends of mine in Montpellier had warned me 7 or 8 days previously that this gentleman had tried to make contact with them. They also told me that this rogue, this urchin, in a word, is nothing more than the scapegoat of the ex-editor-in-chief of Les Droits de l'Homme of Montpellier, J.G. [Jules Guesde], who, in his turn, is the errand boy of the persons you know.

"This Brousse has a very bad reputation in Montpellier.... And these are the kind of agents our rivals are using!!"

Letter signed -- J. Merlhac
authorised representative


Montpellier, June 7, 1872

"The man named Brousse, a medical student in this city, has written several times to Citizen Guesde at Geneva, who has referred him to Citizen Serraillier in London.

"This M. Brousse, student, is, it is true, a sincere republican, as he has shown in a number of instances, but he is not a man of action. When arrests were being made in Lyons, on the rue Grolée, this gentleman, who was chairman of the Radical Committee, ran away in fright. I can give you the names of people who will confirm this.... As he was chairman of the Radical Committee, which he deserted in such a cowardly manner, he enjoys a certain amount of influence. -- This is Guesde's man."


Montpellier, August 15, 1872

"I must tell you that in the Montpellier Section a split has been caused by the said Brousse who is in correspondence, as you know, with Guesde and others from Geneva. He has gone to visit some of them in order to prevent them from paying the supplementary contributions and to keep the status quo until after the Hague Congress....

"The Montpellier Section of the Southern Committee has decided:

"1. The said Brousse having acted disloyally in provoking a split in the heart of the Montpellier Section;

"2. The aforementioned Brousse having prevented some fifteen persons from paying their subscriptions in order to prevent the sending of a delegate from Toulouse to the Hague Congress;

"3. We have unanimously decided to request Citizen A. Callas, delegate for the Montpellier Section, present at the sitting, to demand the expulsion of the said Paul Brousse, student, from the International Working Men's Association for malpractice and for having sowed discord in the Montpellier Section.

Delegate A. Callas
Members of the Southern Committee
Coutans, Ln. Lapeyssonnier, Gironis

"P.S. Brousse and the others paid their subscriptions at the last moment."


Bousquet, Gondres, Bacave

Toulouse, July 14, 1872

"... By the way, I have finally picked up the main thread of the intrigues of our political adversaries, and I have discovered that their most active accomplices in the Hérault Department and elsewhere were Bousquet from Béziers and Gondres from Narbonne. You are, I believe, perfectly well informed about the first; as for the second, you know him also for having recommended to you another scoundrel of the same kidney, Bacave by name, from Perpignan. Furthermore, Gondres is known at Narbonne as a police informer; according to some, he worked, so it is said, for Raynal, ex-prefect of the Aude."



    During the events in Narbonne, he was subjected to investigation in Dijon on orders from the Montpellier public prosecutor's office, for which he was acting as informer. He was then arrested, for appearances' sake, committed to trial in Rhodes, and acquitted.

From there, he went at Perpignan as police agent and is now serving with the Carlists in Spain.

Extract from a letter from Pezenas, March 27, 1872.

"...After I had explained the purpose of my visit, I was told that another traveller engaged in the same propaganda had already presented himself three or four days previously, furnished with full authority from Geneva."


Toulouse, June 23, 1872

"... Counter-agents from Geneva are working furiously to disorganise our clientele.... If you do not immediately provide me with the means to fight them in an effective way, the responsibility for it will devolve solely on you....

J. Merlhac


Toulouse, 26 June, 1872

"... For my part, I am doing everything humanly possible to achieve this, and if I bump into obstacles from time to time, it is to them that I owe it.

;"Three or four days ago, they (the dissidents) seat one of their emissaries here to try the ground. This emissary, who carries a Russian passport, had talks with the said Duportal and some of our members and, apparently, advised the latter to ask me if I was furnished with a card or booklet stating that I was a member of the Association. They allegedly told him: 'He is endowed with sufficient powers by the General Council.' 'That is not enough,' he is reported to have said. 'It's easy to obtain the powers about which you are telling me.' This individual left for Geneva yesterday evening."


Toulouse, August 2, 1872

"... I have discovered, or rather one of our people has tracked down here, in the rue de Lis, a Jura Committee consisting of republicans of all types. This committee, according to the information supplied to me, has the sole aim of opposing us at the next Congress...."

Authorised representative


St. Martin

Here is a letter from Paris left with the commission. It begins "The Malon split etc..."

Avignon, August 24, 1872

Paris, August 11, 1872

"...I was visited yesterday by Citizen Lev Mechnikov who, among other things, invited me to join the Jura Federation. This proves that the Jurassians are working with determination and that we must be on our guard."


Paris, August 14, 1872

"The Jura Federation is taking vigorous action; it has had some success in Spain, in Barcelona, and is trying to get a foothold in France. I need no further proof other than the visit from this Russian sent from Switzerland to get me to break with the General Council and join the Jura Federation. When these scoundrels have to deal with real people, they will find that they are wasting their time."

And now here is a summary of the St. Martin affair which was mentioned earlier. It goes without saying that I am leaving it to you to classify the various communications when summing up. My only request is for the suppression of names, whether these of signatories or those of cities where the Jura Federation has been active. As you well realise, I am only releasing the names to the Commission in order to relieve it of the responsibility later. You have 4 letters of mine, and, not knowing the dates, I am refraining, with reason, from mentioning them here; but I feel that I should advise you to publish, from the mandate, the extract given by B. Malon and contained in one of them. Anyway that is your concern.

Summary of the correspondence from Chamoux in Avignon concerning B. Malon.

"On March 10, 1872, I (Ed. Chamoux) met Royannez to ask him for information on the procedure for organising groups. He didn't want to tell me anything, and I never did find out why. I can only say that the person with whom Royannez was staying was a certain Esteve, a correspondent of B. Malon. This Esteve is a man who lives at various people's expense. After having told me, as did his wife, that he had given B. Malon's address to this St. Martin, he read me a letter from Malon without wanting to give me any explanation concerning what I wanted to know. Three days later, Royannez and Esteve looked me up in Avignon to discuss a newspaper which Royannez wanted to found, and I then met St. Martin, who repeated to me that he had I B. M.'s address and that he was going to enter with the latter into very regular correspondence; I made a mental note of this without saying a word. As long as he didn't make any fuss, I kept quiet; but this didn't last long. As soon as he started doing the rounds and banging the big drum, I went after him in order to give battle and was even joined in my campaign against him by some of his friends.

"And this is the individual whom M. B. Malon has honoured with his confidence.

"Under the Empire, M. St. Martin lived in Apt and then in Avignon, where he practised, and still practises, the profession of lawyer. In 1866, he applied for a post with the Ministry of the Imperial Court and the Fine Arts. In 1869, he was a contributor to the Démocretie du Midi and was fined 800 francs for defaming the sub-prefect of Apt. Subscriptions were collected among the republicans of Apt and Pertuis (Vaucluse) to pay the fine, but St. Martin, instead of using the subscriptions to clear up his fine, judged it more convenient to pay for a little trip to Paris at the workers' expense, and in order to avoid a scandal they were forced to renew their subscription. On September 4, St. Martin's chief preoccupation was to get himself appointed consultant to the prefect at Avignon. In this post, he distinguished himself for his absolute servility to the prefect, M. Pouyade, under whom he was, in actual fact, merely an errand boy. On the advent of the Commune, he accepted the movement, but after the May days in 1871 he asked the Versailles government, which a month previously he had called a murderer, to appoint him sub-prefect.

"In connection with this M. St. Martin, I have proof written in his own hand.

"In the name of all the members of the departments which I represent, I support his expulsion, if the occasion arises."

Received by Edouard Chamoux


Avignon, August 29, 1872

"...The said St. Martin has left for Geneva to see Malon...."

"In May or June, the said St. Martin edited a newspaper called l'Ordre, at Avignon, in which he told the truth to the famous Thiers. But at the same time, he asked him for a post as sub-prefect. We have letters written in his own hand."

My dear Potel, when referring to the records of the Commission, you will be able to establish the main thread of the whole business. I don't consider it necessary to give you extracts from letters or newspaper articles Originating from the London "Section of 1871" with which the Jurassians had established close relations, thanks to the friendship of Avrial, Theiss, and Camelinat with Malon, and especially thanks to their ignorance about the aims of the latter. When I think of the trouble which these vermin gave me for a year in France, I very much regret that the Congress did not come down more heavily by punishing more of the guilty ones. Be that as it may, in the publication of the Inquiry, as I think you will be publishing the names of the voters, I want the motive for my abstention to he quoted when Engels asked to stay where he was. I attach all the more importance to this, since I am convinced that Malon is even worse than was shown by his conduct in the Alliance affair. His behaviour during the siege, his attitude on March 18, his acts even under the Commune, all make me repudiate him for his past and suspect him in future. In a word, he's a had lot.

Talking of had lots, we had a Congress called by Vésinier! You have no doubt heard the report, hut here is something that will enable you to judge the true worth of this doubtful representation, in which two out of three chairmen are known to belong to the police. B. Landeck took a friend of his there who had no mandate. When, during verification, those who had no powers were asked to withdraw, L.'s friend was about to leave, cursing, L. said to him solemnly: "Authorise yourself, as at the Hague Congress!" and so he was authorised -- no one could he more revolutionary than that. On the other hand, the "Section of 1871" refused to send its representative, since it did not want any solidarity with the newspaper la Fédération, official organ of the Federatist Council, denounced in France as Bonapartist and, to the émigrés, as engaged in espionage -- the difference is not very great.

But if, the "Section of 1871" refuses to keep in further communication with the Federalist Council, it has nevertheless welcomed M. Van den Abeele in its extraordinary sessions, convoked to receive the sacred word of the Belgians! I don't know the result of these negotiations, but I do know something unworthy of a good man and even more so of a group, section or federation, namely that M. V. den Abeele has just said here that the accounts of the old General Council are not in order and that the sums paid by the Belgians do not appear in them, especially those sent for the refugees of the Commune. This behaviour needs no comment. We are waiting for them to be called to account and the day will come, I hope, when they are given no mercy.

With sincerest greetings,
A. Serraillier

[The rest is in P. Vichard's handwriting.]

I confirm the authenticity of the extracts from the documents used.

London, September 23, 1872
Paul Vichard

Monday morning.

Our friend S. is just finishing the extracts from the documents used, and I am forwarding them to you in haste.

Paul V.


Back to Contents






The International Workingmen's Association, 1872


Letter to the Members of the

International Working Men's Association


by Richard Dixon & Alex Miller, for Progress Publishers, 1976.
Transcribed: by June 1996.

Preliminary notes for the report of the Investigation Commission were drawn up by Lucain, Secretary of the Investigation Commission on the Alliance. The report seems to have been left unfinished owning to Lucain's illness and subsequent death in December 1872.

The extant text of the report covers 16 sheets with no text on the back of the pages. They are numbered from 1 to 16. There are several versions of Lucain's signature, Lucain not being his real name.




    Nominated by the delegates to the Hague Congress to report to you on the activities of a secret society known as The Alliance, which has been formed within the Association itself, we are today carrying out our assignment.

Much bitter criticism has been levelled against the commission chosen. Several of our friends thought that we abused the vote of confidence by demanding that the Congress should expel from the Association a number of its members without possessing sufficient proof of their having betrayed the proletariat by attempting to divert the Association from its goal; others claimed, in writing, that the commission consisted of biased persons who were the adherents of some kind of clique or other and who sought to disunite all the true defenders of tile rights of citizens and of freedom for the workers. Everywhere, the members of the Society whom we have denounced have expressed their indignation, not hesitating to state in print that the commission, since it lacked the proof necessary to substantiate its assessment, would never publish its report, forgetting, or wanting it to be forgotten, that it was the commission itself which demanded the publication of the report in order to ensure its responsibility.

The members of the commission have refrained from comment. Despising the base and petty accusations which affected men and not principles, they waited for the day when they would be able to publish their report, well aware that when that day arrived, the true members of the International, their only judges, with the proof before them, would make short work of the biased accusations directed at them by the Association's enemies.

That day has come, comrades. If it has taken longer than was expected, it is because we, workers like yourselves have only with difficulty been able to snatch a few hours a week in order to fulfil the mission entrusted to us.

This is the only excuse justifying the delay in publication.

Today, fully confident in the results of your assessment, we place our work at your disposal, and we ask you to ratify in your sections the Congress's vote -- a vote directed against men who were not afraid to divert the Association from its goal by preaching the inequality of citizens and lies; in a word, against men who were forming an autocracy within the proletariat, hiding their aim, which was probably despicable, and trying to achieve this aim of concentrating in their own hands the forces of the workers, in order to use them for their own purposes when it might suit them.

Greetings and Equality,
The commission


Back to Contents




The International Working Men's Association, 1872


Report on the Alliance

Presented in the name of the General Council to the Hague Congress


in French by Engels at the end of August 1872.
Submitted to the Commission Investigating the
Source: The General Council of the First International. 1871-72, Moscow, 1968;
Transcribed: by


    The Alliance of Socialist Democracy was founded by M. Bakunin towards the end of 1868. It was an international society claiming to function, at the same time, both within and without the International Working Men's Association. Composed of members of the Association, who demanded the right to take part in all meetings of the International's members, this society, nevertheless, wished to retain the right to organise its own local groups, national federations and congresses alongside and in addition to the Congresses of the International. Thus, right from the onset, the Alliance claimed to form a kind of aristocracy within our Association, or elite with its own programme and possessing special privileges.

The letters which were exchanged between the Central Committee of the Alliance and our General Council at that time are reproduced on pp. 7-9 of the circular Fictitious Splits in the International" "(appendix No. 1). The General Council refused to admit the Alliance as long as it retained its distinct international character; it promised to admit the Alliance only on the condition that the latter would dissolve its special international organisation, that its sections would become ordinary sections of our Association, and that the Council should be informed of the sear and numerical strength of each new section formed.

The following is the reply dated June 22, 1869, to these demands received from the Central Committee of the Alliance, which has henceforth become known as the "Geneva Section of the Alliance of Socialist Democracy" in its relations with the General Council.

"As agreed between your Council and the Central Committee of the Alliance of Socialist Democracy, we have consulted the various groups of the Alliance on the question of its dissolution as an organisation outside the International Working Men's Association.... We are pleased to inform you that a great majority of the groups share the views of the Central Committee which intends to announce the dissolution of the International Alliance of Socialist Democracy. The question of dissolution has today been decided. In communicating this decision to the various groups of the Alliance, we have invited them to follow our example and constitute themselves into sections of the International Working Men's Association, and seek recognition as such either from you or from the Federal Councils of the Association in their respective countries. Confirming receipt of your letter addressed to the former Central Committee of the Alliance, we are sending today for your perusal the rules of our section, and hereby request your official recognition of it as a section of the International Working Men's Association...." (Signed) Acting Secretary, C. Perron (appendix No. 2).

A copy of these rules of the Alliance may be found among appendices No. 3.

The Geneva section proved to be the only one to request admission to the International. Nothing was heard about other allegedly existing sections of the Alliance. Nevertheless, in spite of the constant intrigues of the Alliancists who sought to impose their special programme on the entire International and gain control of our Association, one was bound to accept that the Alliance had kept its word and disbanded itself. The General Council, however, has received fairly clear indications which forced it to conclude that the Alliance was not even contemplating dissolution and that, in spite of its solemn undertaking, it existed and was continuing to function as a secret society, using this underground organisation to realise its original aim -- the securing of complete control. Its existence, particularly in Spain, became increasingly apparent as a result of discord within the Alliance itself, an account of which is given below. For the moment, suffice it to say that a circular drawn up by members of the old Spanish Federal Council, who were at the same time members of the Central Committee of the Alliance in Spain (see Emancipacion No. 61, p. 3, column 2, appendix No. 4), exposed the existence of the Alliance. [Earlier] the circular, dated June 2, 1872 and published in Emancipacion (No. 59, appendix No. 5), informed all the sections of the Alliance in Spain that the signatories had dissolved themselves as a section of the Alliance and invited other sections to follow their example.

The publication of this circular caused the Alliance newspaper, the Barcelona Federacion (No. 155, August 4, 1872), to publish the rules of the Alliance (appendix No. 6), thus putting the existence of this society beyond question.

A comparison of the rules of the secret society with the rules presented by the Geneva section of the Alliance to the General Council shows, firstly, that the introductory programme to the first document is identical to that of the second. There are merely a few changes in wording, as a result of which Bakunin's special programme is given more succinct expression in the secret rules.

Below is an exact table of:

Geneva rules


Secret rules

Art. 1

corresponds literally to

Art. 5

Art. 2

corresponds generally to

Art. 1

Art. 3

corresponds literally to

Art. 2

Arts. 4 & 5

correspond generally to

Art. 3

Art. 6

corresponds generally to

Art. 4

    The secret rules themselves are based on the Geneva rules. Thus, Article 4 of the secret rules corresponds literally to Article 3 of the Geneva rules; Articles 8 and 9 in the Geneva rules correspond in abbreviated form to Article 10 of the secret rules, as do the Geneva Articles 15-20 to Article 3 of the secret rules.

Contrary to the actual practice of the Alliancists, the Geneva Article 7 advocates the "strong organisation" of the International and binds all members of the Alliance to "uphold ... the decisions of the Congresses and the authority of the General Council". This article is not to be found in the secret rules, but evidence of its original inclusion in these rules is provided by the fact that it is reproduced almost word for word in Article 15 of the regulations of the Madrid sección de oficios varios [section combining various types of professions] (appendix No. 7) which also includes the programme of the Alliance.

It is, therefore, clear that we are dealing with one and the same society and not with two separate societies. At the same time as the Geneva Central Committee was assuring the General Council that the Alliance had been disbanded, and was admitted as a section of the International on the basis of this assurance, the ringleaders of this Central Committee led by Mr. Bakunin were strengthening the organisation of this same Alliance, turning it into a secret society and preserving that very international character which they had undertaken to abolish. The good faith of the General Council and of the whole International, to whom the correspondence had been submitted, was betrayed in a most disgraceful manner. Having once committed such a deception, these men were no longer held back by any scruples from their machinations to subordinate the International, or, if this were unsuccessful, to disorganise it.

Below we quote the main articles of the secret rules:

"1) The Alliance of Socialist Democracy shall consist of members of the International Working Men's Association and has as its aim the propaganda and development of the principles of its programme, and the study of all means suited to advance direct and immediate emancipation of the working class.

"2) In order to achieve the best possible results and not to compromise the development of social organisation, the Alliance shall be entirely secret.

"4) No person shall be admitted to membership if he has not accepted beforehand the principles of the programme completely and sincerely.

"5) The Alliance shall do its utmost to exert from within its influence on the local workers' federation in order to prevent the latter from embarking on a reactionary or anti-revolutionary course.

"9) Any member may be dismissed from membership of the Alliance on a majority decision without any reason being given."

Thus, the Alliance is a secret society formed within the International itself, having a programme of its own differing widely from that of the International, a society which has as its aim the propaganda of that programme which it considers to be the only true revolutionary one. The society binds its members to act in such a way inside the local federation of the International as to prevent it from embarking on a reactionary or anti-revolutionary course, i.e., the slightest deviation from the programme of the Alliance. In other words, the aim of the Alliance is to impose its sectarian programme on the whole International by means of its secret organisation. This can be, most effectively achieved by taking over the local and Federal Councils and the General Council, using the power of a secret organisation to elect members of the Alliance to these bodies. This was precisely what the Alliance did in cases where it felt that it had a good chance of success, as we shall see below.

Clearly no one would wish to hold it against the Alliancists for propagating their own programme. The International is composed of socialists of the most various shades of opinion. Its programme is sufficiently broad to accommodate all of them: the Bakunin sect was admitted on the same conditions as all the others. The charge levelled against it is precisely its violation of these conditions.

The secret nature of the Alliance, however, is an entirely different matter. The International cannot ignore the fact that in many countries, Poland, France and Ireland among them, secret organisations are a legitimate means of defence against government persecution. However, at its London Conference the International stated that it wished to remain completely dissociated from these societies and would not, consequently, recognise them as sections. Moreover, and this is the crucial point, we are dealing here with a secret society created for the purpose of combatting not a government, but the International itself.

The organisation of a secret society of this kind is a blatant violation, not only of the contractual obligations to the International, but also of the letter and spirit of our General Rules. Our Rules know only one kind of members of the International with equal rights and duties for all. The Alliance separates them into two castes: the initiated and the uninitiated, the aristocracy and the plebe, the latter destined to be led by the first by means of an organisation whose very existence-is unknown to them. The International demands of its members that they should acknowledge Truth, Justice and Morality as the basis of their conduct; the Alliance imposes upon its adepts, as their first duty, mendacity, dissimulation and imposture, by ordering them to deceive the uninitiated members of the International as to the existence of the secret organisation and to the motives and aims of their words and actions. The founders of the Alliance knew only too well that the vast majority of uninitiated members of the International would never consciously submit to such an organisation were they aware of its existence. This is why they made it "completely secret". For it is essential to emphasise that the secret nature of this Alliance is not aimed at eluding government vigilance, otherwise it would not have begun its existence as a public society; this secret nature had as its sole aim the deception of the uninitiated members of the International, proof of which is the base way in which the Alliance deceived the General Council. Thus we are dealing with a genuine conspiracy against the International. For the first time in the history of the working-class struggle, we stumble upon a secret conspiracy plotted in the midst of the working class, and intended to undermine, not the existing exploiting regime, but the very Association in which that regime finds its fiercest opponent.

Moreover, it would be ludicrous to assert that a society has made itself secret in order to protect itself from the persecution of existing governments, when that same society is everywhere advocating the emasculating doctrine of complete abstention from political action and states in its programme (Article 3, preamble to the secret rules) that it

"rejects any revolutionary action which does not have as its immediate and direct aim the triumph of the workers' cause over capital".

How then has this secret society acted within the International?

The reply to this question is already given in part in the private circular of the General Council entitled "Fictitious Splits, etc.". But due to the fact that the General Council was not yet at that time aware of the actual size of the secret organisation, and in view of the many important events which have taken place subsequently, this reply can be regarded only as most incomplete.

Let it be said right from the start the activities of the Alliance fall into two distinct phases. The first is characterised by the assumption that it would be successful in gaining control of the General Council and thereby securing supreme direction of our Association. It was at this stage that the Alliance urged its adherents to uphold the "strong organisation" of the International and, above all,

"the authority of the General Council and of the Federal Councils and Central Committees";

and it was at this stage that gentlemen of the Alliance demanded at the Basle Congress that the General Council be invested with those wide powers which they later rejected with such horror as being authoritarian.

The Basle Congress destroyed, for the time being at least, the hopes nourished by the Alliance. Since that time it has carried on the intrigues referred to in the "Fictitious Splits"; in the Jura district of Switzerland, in Italy and in Spain it has not ceased to push forward its special programme in place of that of the International. The London Conference put an end to this misunderstanding with its resolutions on working-class policy and sectarian sections. The Alliance immediately went into action again. The Jura Federation, the stronghold of the Alliance in Switzerland, issued its Sonvillier circular against the General Council, in which the strong organisation, the authority of the General Council and the Basle resolutions, both proposed and voted for by the very people who were signatories to the circular, were denounced as authoritarian -- a definition that, apparently, sufficed to condemn them out of hand; in which mention was made of "war, the open war that has broken out in our ranks"; in which it was demanded that the International should assume the form of an organisation adapted, not to the struggle in hand, but to some vague ideal of a future society, etc. From this point onwards tactics changed. An order was issued. Wherever the Alliance had its branches, in Italy and particularly in Spain the authoritarian resolutions of the Basle Congress and the London Conference, as also the authoritarianism of the General Council, were subjected to the most violent attacks. Now there was nothing but talk of the autonomy of sections, free federated groups, anarchy, etc. This is quite understandable. The influence of the secret society within the International would naturally increase as the public organisation of the International weakened. The most serious obstacle in the path of the Alliance was the General Council, and this was consequently the body which came in for the most bitter attacks, although, as we shall see, the Federal Councils also received the same treatment whenever a suitable opportunity presented itself.

The Jura circular had no effect whatsoever, except in those countries where the International was more or less influenced by the Alliance, namely, in Italy and Spain. In the latter the Alliance and the International were founded simultaneously immediately after the Basle Congress. Even the most devoted members of the International in Spain were led to believe that the programme of the Alliance was identical to that of the International, that this secret organisation existed everywhere and that it was almost the duty of all to belong to it. This illusion was destroyed by the London Conference, where the Spanish delegate [Anselmo Lorenzo], himself a member of the Central Committee of the Alliance in his country, could convince himself that the contrary was the fact, and also by the Jura circular itself, whose bitter attacks and lies against the Conference and the General Council were immediately taken up by all the organs of the Alliance. The first result of the Jura circular in Spain was the emergence of disagreements within the Spanish Alliance itself between those who were first and foremost members of the International and those who would not recognise it, since it had not come under Alliance control. The struggle, at first carried on in private, soon flared up in public at meetings of the International. When the Federal Council which had been elected by the Valencia Conference (September 1871) demonstrated by its actions that it preferred the International to the Alliance, a majority of its members was expelled from the local Madrid Federation, where the Alliance was in control. They were reinstated by the Saragossa Congress and two of them, Mora and Lorenzo, were re-elected to the new Federal Council, in spite of the fact that all the members of the old Council had previously announced that they would not recognise them as members.

The Saragossa Congress gave rise to fears on the part of the ringleaders of the Alliance that Spain might slip out of their hands. The Alliance immediately began a campaign against the authority of the Spanish Federal Council, similar to that which the Jura circular had directed against the so-called authoritarian powers of the General Council. A thoroughly democratic and at the same time coherent form of organisation had been worked out in Spain by the Barcelona Congress and the Valencia Conference. Thanks to the activity of the Federal Council elected in Valencia (activity which was approved by a special vote of the Congress), this organisation achieved the outstanding successes referred to in the general report. Morago, the leading light of the Alliance in Spain, declared at Saragossa that the powers conferred on the Federal Council in the Spanish organisation were authoritarian, that it was essential to restrict them, and to deprive the Council of the right to accept or reject new sections and decide whether their rules were in accordance with the rules of the federation, in short, to reduce its role to that of a mere correspondence and statistics bureau. After rejecting Morago's proposals, the Congress resolved to preserve the existing authoritarian form of organisation (see Extracts from the Papers of the Second Workers' Congress, etc., pp. 109 and 110, appendix No. 8.188 The evidence given by Citizen Lafargue, a delegate to the Saragossa Congress, will be of great importance in this Connection).

In order to isolate the new Federal Council from the disagreements, which had arisen in Madrid, the Congress transferred it to Valencia. However, the cause of the disagreements, namely, the antagonism, which had begun to develop between the Alliance and the International, was not of a local nature. Unaware of the existence of the Alliance, the Congress set up a new Council composed entirely of members of that society, with the result that two of them, Mora and Lorenzo, opposed it and Mora refused a seat on the Council. The General Council's circular "Fictitious Splits", which was a reply to the Jura circular, obliged all members of the International to make an open statement of their allegiance either to the International or to the Alliance. The polemics between Emancipacion on the one hand and the Alliance newspapers, the Barcelona Federacion and the Seville Razon, on the other became increasingly virulent. Finally, on June 2 the members of the former Federal Council -- the editors of Emancipacion and members of the Spanish Central Committee of the Alliance decided to address a circular to all the Spanish sections of the Alliance, in which they announced their dissolution as a section of the secret society and called on other sections to follow their example. Vengeance followed swiftly. They were immediately expelled again from the local Madrid Federation in flagrant violation of the existing regulations. Following this, they reorganised themselves into a new Madrid Federation and requested recognition from the Federal Council.

However, in the meantime the Alliancist element in the Council, strengthened by co-option, had gained complete control, causing Lorenzo to resign. The request of the New Madrid Federation met with a blank refusal on the part of the Federal Council, which was already concentrating all its efforts on ensuring the election of Alliance candidates to the Congress at The Hague. To this end the Council sent a private circular to local federations dated July 7, in which, repeating the slanderous remarks of Federacion concerning the General Council, it proposed that the Federations should send to the Congress a single delegation from the whole of Spain elected by a majority vote, the list of those elected to be drawn up by the Council itself. (Appendices No. 9.) It is obvious to anyone familiar with the secret society existing within the International in Spain that such a procedure would have meant the election of Alliance men to attend the Congress on funds provided by members of the International. As soon as the General Council, which was not sent a copy of the circular, got to know of these facts, it addressed a letter dated July 24 to the Spanish Federal Council, which is attached as an appendix (No. I0). The Federal Council replied on August 1 to the effect that it would require time in order to translate our letter which had been written in French, and on August 3 it addressed an evasive reply to the General Council published in Federacion (appendix No. 11). In this reply it sided with the Alliance. On receipt of the letter of August 1, the General Council had already published the correspondence in Emancipacion.

It must be added that as soon as the secret organisation was discovered it was claimed that the Alliance had already been dissolved at the Saragossa Congress. The Central Committee had not, however, been informed to this effect (appendix No. 4).

The New Madrid Federation denies this, and it should have known. In general, the claim that the Spanish section of an international society such as the Alliance could dissolve itself without first consulting the other national sections is patently absurd.

Immediately after this the Alliance attempted a coup d'état. Realising that it would not be able to secure itself an artificial majority at the Hague Congress by means of the same manoeuvres employed at Basle and La Chaux-de-Fonds, the Alliance took advantage of the Conference held at Rimini by the self-styled Italian Federation in order to make a public announcement of the split. The Conference delegates passed a unanimous resolution (see appendix No. 12). Thus the Congress of the Alliance stood in opposition to that of the International. However, it was soon realised that this plan had no chance of success. It was abandoned, and the decision was taken to go to The Hague, with the very same Italian sections, of which only one out of twenty-one belongs to our Association, having the audacity to send their delegates to the Hague Congress which they had already rejected.


1) That the Alliance (the main organ of which is the Central Committee of the Jura Federation), founded and led by M. Bakunin, is a society hostile to the International, insofar as it aims at dominating or disorganising the latter;

2) That as a consequence of the foregoing the International and the Alliance are incompatible.

The Congress resolves:

1) That M. Bakunin and all the present members of the Alliance of Socialist Democracy be expelled from the International Working Men's Association and be granted re-admission to it only after a public renunciation of all connections with this secret society;

2) That the Jura Federation be expelled as such from the International.


Back to Contents






The International Workingmen's Association, 1872
Statement by P. Vichard


Translated: by Richard Dixon & Alex Miller, for Progress Publishers, 1976.
Transcribed: by, June 1996.

After Theodor Cuno's departure to America and Lucain's death, the task of drawing up the report on the Alliance fell to the commission engaged in editing the minutes (Marx, Engels, Le Moussu, Frankel, Dupont, Serraillier). The main job was undertaken by Marx and Engels, who were greatly assisted by Paul Lafargue, delegate to the Congress. The commission started work in April 1873, and in August 1873 the results of its endeavors were published in the form of the pamphlet The Alliance of Socialist Democracy and the International Working Men's Association.


July 18, 1873

To the citizen-members of the commission nominated by the Hague Congress to edit the minutes of the Congress.

Dear Citizens,

As a Congress-nominated member of the Commission of Inquiry into the Alliance, since it has been pointed out to me that the members of the commission, being dispersed in Belgium, England and America, will not be able to meet, I have felt it my duty to hand over to you the documents entrusted to me.

My mandate is henceforth no longer valid.

I am therefore in no way connected with any report which may be made by any other commission in place of the one specially nominated by the Congress.

Please accept, dear citizens, fraternal greetings from your devoted

Paul Vichard

Back to Contents