(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Children's Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Proceedings of the Inter-allied labor conference (with appendix)"

PROCEEDINGS 



OF THE 



INTER-ALLIED LABOR 
CONFERENCE 



(With Appendix' 



LONDON 

September 17, 18, 19, 1918 



PUBLISHED BY THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF LABOR 
WASHINGTON, D. C. 



FRANK MORRISON 

SECRtTARY 



SAMUEL GOMPERS 

PRESIDENT 



■s> 






PROCEEDINGS OF THE INTER-ALLIED 
LABOR CONFERENCE 



The Inter- Allied Labour and Socialist Conference met at the Central 
Hall, Westminster, London, S. W., on Tuesday, September 17th, 1918, 
at 10 a. m. 

Mr. G. H. Stuart-Bunning (Great Britain) presided. 

Mr. J. Sexton (Great Britain) raised the point that the credential 
card was headed "Inter-Allied Socialist Conference," whereas it was in 
reality an Inter-Allied Conference of Labour bodies. He thought some 
explanation was due to his own colleagues and also the American friends 
who had refused to sign their credential cards on that account. 

Mr. Henderson explained that an old card had been used as a draft 
for the printers, and the omission of the word "Labour" had not been 
noted, but that it appeared on all other documents in connection with the 
Conference. 

Mr. J. P. Frey (United States) moved: — 

"That this Conference be open to the public and to the repre- 
sentatives of the Press." 

He said there was nothing mere necessary at this time than that there 
should be no secrecy connected with the procedure of the Conference. In 
America they were accustomed to throw open all their Labour Con- 
ferences both to the public and to the Press, so that the opinion could 
not be gathered in any quarter that they had done something they 
had not done. It was the democratic method. They believed that 
publicity and openness of procedure were as necessary in what the 
Labour bodies do as they were in what Governments do. They believed 
that much harm had been done previous to the war and during the 
war by secret conference, secret understandings, and closed-door 
methods of transacting business. 

Mr. Henderson (Great Britain) asked if Mr. Frey extended his 
motion to committees. 

Mr. Frey replied that his motion had reference only to the sessions 
at which all the delegates would be present. 

Mr. Henderson thought that would influence matters considerably, 
and that there should be no objection to admitting the Press to the 
Conference when once the Conference was constituted. 

Mr. T. GrEENall (Great Britain) seconded the resolution on the 
grounds that now was the time to practice what we have been preaching 
so long to the peoples of the different countries. 

General discussion followed, and on the resolution being put to' 
the Conference it was carried. 

3521—1 



CREDENTIALS COMMITTEE. 

The Chairman suggested that the first business should be to appoint 
a Credentials Committee to examine all the credentials and report to 
this Conference. 

Mr. Jean LonguET (France) moved, and it was agreed: — 

"That the Credential Committee have the power to decide 
the procedure with regard to the chair." 

It was thereafter agreed that the Credential Committee be com- 
posed of two delegates from each country, where the number of the 
delegation allowed, and the following were appointed: — 

Messrs. MacDonald, Sexton, Longuet, Jouhaux, Piscel, 
Vercelloni, Huysmans, Vandervelde, Bowen, Baine, Kennedy, and 
Petridis. 

Mr. Henderson stated that the Conference had had an applica- 
tion that M. Kerensky should be permitted to attend the Conference 
as a visitor, and in view of the fact that the Foreign Office had been 
applied to for passports to allow representatives of the Social Revolu- 
tionary Party to attend, and that they would probably not be at the 
Conference before it closed because the passports were delayed, he 
thought M. Kerensky ought to be asked to sit in the Conference. 

Mr. FrEy seconded, and it was agreed to. 

PROCEDURE COMMITTEE. 
The Chairman asked the Conference to decide the hours it would sit. 

It was suggested that an Agenda be prepared, and Mr. Gompers 
proposed that a Committee recommend procedure rather than the 
preparation of an Agenda, which would probably create considerable 
discussion, for which they had no time, and that the Committee decide 
the hours of the sessions, the time for the presentation of proposals, etc. 

This was agreed to, and the following members were appointed: — 

Messrs. Webb, Goshng, Renaudel, Merrheim, Peroni, Susi, 
Vandervelde, Brouckere, Frey, Wallace, Kennedy, and Petridis. 

The Conference adjourned till 3 p. m. 

CHAIRMAN'S WELCOME. 

Upon the Conference reassembling at 3 p. m., the Chairman said 
he was exceedingly pleased to be able to welcome so truly representa- 
tive a gathering. The work of the Conference had been very much 
misrepresented and misunderstood. Its object was to try to find agree- 
ment among the AUies; and it had no other object. It had been laid 
down time after time that the Allies ought to have some common 
poHcy with regard to war and with regard to peace, and the real purpose 

t By Exchange 

^» ^ Amer federation of ! abof 



of the Conference was to discover such a common poHcy. We are not 
here to-day, the Chairman went on, as peace-at-any-price men; we 
are not here as defeatists; we are here as people who desire an honour- 
able and a lasting peace. I lay stress on both these terms. We want 
the peace to be honourable; we want it to be lasting. 

I may perhaps just refer incidentally to the fact that on the very 
day when we meet certain peace proposals have been put forward by 
Austria. It is not my intention — it would indeed be impertinent for 
me — to discuss those proposals, because you will probably discuss 
them yourselves. But I want to suggest that we should not be misled 
by various things which have happened in the past. Those of us who 
have been working in a certain direction have been told time after 
time that the stage at which to discuss peace was when the Central 
Powers put out some feelers with regard to peace. Now the very news- 
papers which told us that are telling us that we ought not to consider 
the peace proposals of Austria because they are dishonest. I only 
put this point to you for your consideration as showing that we ought 
not to be weighted in our decisions by what has been said by those, or by 
the other, newspapers. If there is any avenue to peace, it is our duty to 
explore it. If we find that avenue dishonest, if we find it a cul-de-sac, 
then it is our duty to say so, and to see that we are not entangled in it. 
But it is our duty, I repeat, to explore any and every possible avenue to 
what I have described as an honorable and lasting peace. 

Accusations have been made against the promoters of the document 
known as the War Aims Memorandum that they were defeatists. Such 
accusations could only be made either out of crass ignorance or sheer 
malevolence, because the most cursory examination of that document will 
show that conditions are laid down with which the Central Powers must 
comply, and unless they do comply we are willing to go on fighting to 
the bitter end. Those conditions are fairly clear. We claim, and we insist 
upon, the rehabilitation of Belgium . We claim certain things with regard 
to Northern France, Poland, Russia, and various other parts of the world 
all of which are absolutely dissonant from the aims of Prussian militarism, 
and all of which we are wilHng to stand by. The document is in no sense 
a peace-at-any-price document, and I hope this will be made abundantly 
clear during our discussion. 

Referring to the proposal to set up a League of Nations, which was 
embodied in the Memorandum, the Chairman continued : I want to pay 
on your behalf a tribute to the magnificent work done by President 
Wilson in this connection. To him is due the greatest possible praise 
which can be given by any international assembly. He and his col- 
leagues have brought into our international affairs a new life, a new 
breath of humanity, one of those breaths which vivify all that we 
do, and which give us some hope for the regeneration of the world. 

The following telegram was received from the Russian delegates: — 

"Prevented from personally reporting to the Conference the 

unspeakable sufferings of the Russian populace masses under the 

Bolshevik regime, we telegraph to draw attention to our appeal to 

3521—2 



Socialist parties asking them to consider a formulated proposal, 
which is highly important for Russia and for the international 
proletariat, that the Western parties should send a commission 
thoroughly to investigate the poHcy of the Soviet Government 
and the attitude of the masses towards it. 

"Deprived of their Press and of all the gains of the March 
Revolution, the Russian workmen are defenceless against the 
oppressors, and there are risks of their falling under the domination 
of the reactionary forces. The intervention of the Western 
proletariat would substantially facilitate the overcoming of the 
Russian crisis, but a correct orientation concerning relations in 
Russia is indispensable. 

"The latest sanguinary Bolshevik orgies and its agreement with 
the Prussian Government aim at the complete destruction of the 
Socialist position, and we imperatively demand that the Western 
parties take immediate steps to the realization of our proposals. 
If you fail in doing your duty the Russian proletariat masses 
will hold you responsible for treachery to its most vital interests, 
and consider you accomplices in dishonouring the international 
proletariat. We greet the Conference with hopes for its suc- 
cessful work for general democracy and peace and the regenera- 
tion of the International. 

(Signed) "Axelrad. 

"Gavronsky. 

"ROUSSANOFF. 
"SOUKHONUNK." 

The telegram was referred to a committee with a view to a com- 
mission being sent to Russia, and on the suggestion of Mr. Webb it was 
decided to send the matter to the committee appointed to consider 
the whole international situation in foreign countries. 

REPORT OF CREDENTIALS COMMITTEE. 

Mr. Ramsay MacDonald reported that the Credentials Com- 
mittee had considered the claims of the Democratia Sociale Irredenta, 
who represented a people who were nominally Austrian subjects, 
but who since the war began had identified themselves, body and 
interest, with the Allies. The official Italian Sociahsts were not rep- 
resented, and they recommended that the Democratia Sociale Irre- 
denta should be admitted in a consultative capacity only. 

As the official position of the Russian delegates was somewhat 
uncertain, it was decided it would be inopportune for them to be 
regarded as full delegates, but if they came they would be in the same 
position as the Irredenta delegates. 

The French delegates desired to record their regret that the American 
Socialist Party had not received an invitation to the Conference, 
and also at the absence of the Italian official Socialist Party. Alto- 
gether credentials for 86 delegates were presented and 74 full dele- 
gates were accepted. 



The Credentials Committee refrained from making any recommen- 
dation as to a method of voting. Its view was that the Conference 
should try to arrive at unanimity, and if it failed, the question of a 
voting system could then be considered. Meanwhile the voting would 
be by show of hands. The reason for this proposal was that the system 
adopted at International Congresses could not be applied, since there 
were organisations represented at the present Conference which were 
not affiliated to the International, and the difficulty of arriving at a 
satisfactory system of block voting was almost insuperable. 

M. Vande^rveIvDE (Belgium) expressed the opposite view, and 
declared that unless there were a system of voting confusion would 
be the result. He recognised the difficulty mentioned by Mr. Mac- 
Donald, but it could be overcome. For instance, the American dele- 
gates might reasonably have the same number of votes — 20 — as were 
allotted to Great Britain and France at International Congresses. 
He, too, hoped that the Conference would arrive at unanimity on 
the great questions of principle, but it was hopeless to expect unanimity 
on every subject, and sooner or later the question which it was pro- 
posed to shelve would have to be decided. Its discussion would then 
lead to bitterness, whereas if it were settled in advance it would be 
out of the way. M. Vandervelde appealed to past experience. The 
reason, he said, why the Conference of February had practical results, 
whereas that of the previous August had none, was that in February a 
system of voting was adopted, whereas at the preceding Conference 
they were in the state of chaos which it was now proposed to repeat. 

M. Jean Longukt moved that the matter be referred back to 
the Committee with instructions to prepare a system of voting. He 
said, however, that since American Socialists were not represented 
the American delegates present ought not to have all the votes that 
would otherwise be allotted to America, and that the same considera- 
tion applied to Italy. Neither the Italian Socialist Party, nor the 
Italian General Federation of Labour, which represented the vast 
majority of Italian Socialists and Trade Unionists had delegates at 
the Conference, and it would be monstrous to allot all the Italian 
votes to a small minority of dissidents. 

M. VandERVEIvDB agreed with M. Longuet about Italy, but not 
about the United States. If they did not allot as many votes to the 
American Federation of Labour as to the Socialist and Labour rep- 
resentatives of Great Britain and France they would, he said, make 
themselves ridiculous. 

Mr. GoMPERS claimed that the American Federation of Labour 
represented the American Labour Movement, and yielded not an 
inch to any other body. That Federation represented more than 
3,000,000 wage-earners and none but wage-earners. It was the work- 
ing class movement of America. The Conference could not assume a 
coercive policy. They met as representatives of the Labour Movement, 
and they undertook to confer and agree voluntarily, but it was impos- 
sible and impracticable to attempt to override the Labour Move- 



6 

ment of any one country, even the smallest country, taking part in 
the Conference. They must have unanimity if they were to come out 
of the Conference with practical results. The majority could not 
enforce its judgment on the Labour Movement of countries consti- 
tuting the minority, or cause Labour in the minority countries to 
change its attitude. 

On a show of hands M. Longuet's motion was rejected. 

REPORT OF PROCEDURE COMMITTEE. 

Mr. Sidney Webb presented the following report from the Pro- 
cedure Committee: — 

1. That the chair be occupied on each of the days by the 
representatives of different nationalities, and that there be, each 
day, two Vice-Presidents representing other nationalities. 

2. That the Chairman for this afternoon be Mr. Stuart- 
Bunning, of the British Trades Union Congress Parliamentary 
Committee, and that the two Vice-Presidents be M. Vercellone 
(Italy) and M. Vandervelde (Belgium). 

3. That the Chairman for Wednesday be a representative 
of the United States, with Vice-Chairman representing respec- 
tively Greece and Canada. 

4. That the Chairman for Thursday be a representative of 
France, with Vice-Presidents representing Great Britain and 
Belgium respectively. 

5. If the Conference extends beyond Thursday, the Presi- 
dent on that day should represent Belgium, and the Vice-Presi- 
dents the United States and Italy. 

6. That the Conference sit each day from 10 to 1, and 2-30 
to 5-30. 

7. That the subjects to be brought before the Conference 
by individual delegates should be notified to the Secretary to 
the Conference before 1 p. m. to-morrow, Wednesday, in order 
that they may be referred to committees, and that subjects of 
which notice has not been so given shall be admitted for discus- 
sion only if brought up by a committee, or by unanimous consent 
of the Conference. 

8. That it is recommended to the Conference that the first 
place in the proceedings should be given to the consideration of 
the proposals of the delegation from the United States with regard 
to the war aims of the Allied peoples, and that the proposition 
of the American delegation, together with the memorandum 
on war aims of February, 1918, and any other resolutions on the 
subject be referred to a committee. 

9. The Conference should give special consideration to the 
present international situation in the various countries, and this 
should be the subject of a separate committee. 



10. A third committee should deal exclusively with putting the 
conclusions of the Conference in form for publication in the various 
languages. 

11. Each committee should consist of two delegates from 
each nationality, chosen by each delegation. 

12. The Conference should proceed immediately to the ap- 
pointment of these three Committees, namely, on 

War aims. 

International situation, and 

Drafting. 

APPOINTMENT OF COMMISSIONS. 
The three commissions were then appointed as follows: — 

Commission on War Aims. 

Messrs. Petridis, Kennedy, Vercelloni, Piscel, Webb, Sexton, 
Vandervelde, De Brouckere, Frey, Bowen, Mistral, Jouhaux, Popovitch. 

Commission on International Rei^ations. 

Messrs. Henderson, Kennedy, Petridis, Huysmans, Vandervelde, 
Wallace, Baine, Renaudel, Longuet, Rossoni, Rossetti. 

Drafting Committee. 

Messrs. Robert Williams, Greenal, Valckaert, Eekelers, Susi, 
Peroni, Gompers, Frey, Cachin, DumouHn. 

Mr. Henderson suggested that as a decision was reached permit- 
ting until 1 o'clock on Wednesday to send in resolutions, the Con- 
ference commence on Wednesday morning with the statement of the 
American Federation of Labour and go on with any discussion that 
might arise, and that the Commissions sit in the afternoon with in- 
structions to report to the full Conference at 10 o'clock on Thursday 
morning. 

M. Huysmans raised a point in connection with a representative 
from Roumania who wished to be admitted to the Conference, and 
it was agreed that it might be referred to the Credentials Committee. 

M. Huysmans also raised the question of the Russian delegates. 
He urged that the Russian Revolutionary Socialists and the Men- 
sheviks were still fighting for the same cause as the Allies, and had 
been invited to the Conference, and he protested against their being 
put in a position of inferiority. 

Mr. Henderson and M. Vandervelde supported M. Huysmans, 
and said that the Conference by accepting the recommendation of 
the Committee had declared that Russia was no longer our ally. This, 
Mr. Henderson said, the Allied Governments had not yet done. 



8 

M. VandervBLDK appealed for the admission of the Russian 
delegates, if they arrived, to full rights. The Bolsheviks had, he 
said, been invited to the February Conference, and had replied with 
insults, whereas the other Russian SociaHsts had accepted. 

Mr. Sexton, M. Longukt, and Mr. Frey supported the recommen- 
dation of the Committee for different reasons. Mr. Sexton said that 
the Bolshevik Government had "declared war on the Allies," and 
that if they admitted dissident Russian delegates they should also admit 
delegates from the German Minority SociaHsts. There had, he said, 
been a great divergence of opinion on the Committee about the matter, 
and the recommendation was a compromise. 

M. LoNGUBT maintained that it was rather the Allies who had 
declared war on the Bolsheviks. He objected to the admission of any 
Russian Socialists to vote at the Conference because they had not 
all been invited. 

Mr. Frey held that M. Vandervelde and Mr. Henderson had over- 
stated the case in describing the recommendations of the Committee as a 
declaration that Russia was no longer an ally. It was a purely practical 
question. There was so little information about what was happening in 
Russia that they did not know who really represented the Russian peo- 
ple, and in the interest of the Russian workers themselves they should 
not allow delegates who might not represent them to vote at the Con- 
ference. 

As no motion was proposed the question dropped, and the Confer- 
ence adjourned till 10 a. m. the following morning. 



WEDNESDAY'S SESSION. 

The Conference re-assembled on Wednesday, 18th September, 19 18^ 
at 10 a. m. 

The Chairman, Mr. C. L. Baine (American Federation of Labour) 
expressed his own appreciation, and that of his American colleagues, for 
the honour done to the American Federation of Labour in selecting him 
as Chairman, and hoped before the Conference adjourned there would be 
no doubt as to the real aims and purposes of the Allied Labour Move- 
ments. The United States had been late in entering the war, but he be- 
lieved all thinking men would agree with the wisdom of President Wilson 
in that they entered the war at a time when they knew they could be of 
real assistance to their allies, and that the same could be said of Labour. 
He honestly hoped and believed that they would be able to arrive at con- 
clusions on war aims that would represent the Labour Movement in all 
the Allied countries. In America, the war aims of the American Federa- 
tion of Labour, the only recognised authority to give expression to 
Labour in the United States and Canada, had been made known, and 
there never had been any doubt, and there could be no possibility of 
putting a different construction upon them. - 



9 

The following telegram from M. Bran ting (Sweden) was received: — 

**Best wishes for good work in Inter- Allied Labour and Socialist 
Conference. May the good spirit of unity prevail, preparing the 
resurrection of the International Labour Movement in a league of 
free and equal nations." 

Mr. Thorne asked if it were permissible for a delegate who is part 
and parcel of a delegation to send in a resolution on his own responsi- 
bility. The reply was in the affirmative. 

PROPOSALS OF AMERICAN FEDERATION OF LABOUR. 

The next business was the introduction of proposals or resolutions 
from the American Federation of Labour. 

Mr. GoMPERS said the delegation from the American Federation of 
Labour entered into the Conference without any prejudice. They were 
bound by the declarations of the American Federation of Labour, as 
unanimously expressed. They were not only bound by them, but were in 
complete accord with them. 

In conference with the members of the Parliamentary Committee of 
the Trades Union Congress and of the Executive of the Labour Party, 
and representatives of the American Federation of Labour, held during 
the session of the British Trades Union Congress in Derby, it was sug- 
gested that perhaps it might be better if the point of view of American 
organised Labour could be presented. They had assented to that 
procedure. He did not propose to make any introductory remarks 
or comments upon the proposal submitted — they relied upon the lucidity 
and the fundamental accuracy of the position presented for considera- 
tion, action, and they hoped for approval. The proposals werejas 
follow : — 

' 'We recognise in this world war the inevitable conflict between auto- 
cratic and democratic institutions ; the contest between the principles of 
self-development through free institutions and that of arbitrary control 
of government by groups or individuals for selfish ends. 

"It is therefore essential that the peoples and the governments of all 
countries should have a full and definite knowledge of the spirit and deter- 
mination of this Inter- Allied Conference, representative of the workers of 
our respective countries, with reference to the prosecution of the war. 

"We declare it to be our unquahfied determination to do all that lies 
within our power to assist our allied countries in the marshalling of all of 
their resources to the end that the armed forces of the Central Powers 
may be driven from the soil of the nations which they have invaded and 
now occupy, and furthermore, that these armed forces shall be opposed 
so long as they carry out the orders or respond to the control of the mili- 
taristic autocratic governments of the Central Powers which now 
threaten the existence of all self-governing people. 

"This Conference endorses the 14 points laid down by President 



10 

Wilson as conditions upon which peace between the belHgerent nations 
may be established and maintained, as follows : — 

(1) 

Open covenants of peace openly arrived at, after which there shall be no private 
international understandings of any kind, but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly 
and in the public view. 

(2) 

Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas outside territorial waters alike 
in peace and in war, except as the seas may be closed in whole or in p*art by inter- 
national action for the enforcement of international covenants. 

(3) 

The removal, so far as possible, of all economic barriers and the establishment of 
an equality of trade conditions among all the nations consenting to peace and associat- 
ing itself for its maintenance. 

(4) 

Adequate guarantees, given and taken, that national armaments will be reduced 
to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety. 

(5) 

A free, open-minded, and absolutely impartial adjustment of all Colonial claims, 
based upon a strict observance of the principle that in determining all such questions 
of sovereignty the interest of the populations concerned must have equal weight 
with the equitable claims of the Government whose title is to be determined. 

(6) 

The evacuation of all Russian territory, and such a settlement of all questions 
affecting Russia as will secure the best and freest cooperation of the other nations 
of the world in obtaining for her an unhampered and unembarrassed opportunity 
for the independent determination of her own political development and national 
policy, and assure her of a sincere welcome into the society of free nations under 
institutions of her own choosing; and more than a welcome assistance also of every 
kind that she may need and may herself desire. 

The treatment accorded Russia by her sister nations in the months to come 
will be the acid test of their goodwill, of their comprehension of her needs, as dis- 
tinguished from their own interests, and of their intelligent and unselfish sympathy 

(7) 

Belgium, the whole world will agree, must be evacuated and restored without 
any attempt to limit the sovereignty which she enjoys in common with all other free 
nations. No other single act will serve, as this will serve, to restore confidence 
among the nations in the laws which they have themselves set and determined for 
the government of their relations with one another. Without this healing act the 
whole structure and validity of international law is for ever impaired. 

(8) 

All French territory should be freed and the invaded portions restored, and the 
wrong done to France by Prussia in 1871 in the matter of Alsace-Lorraine, which 
has unsettled the peace of the world for nearly 50 years, should be righted in order 
that peace may once more be made secure in the interest of all. 



11 

(9) 

A readjustment of the frontiers of Italy should be effected along clearly recog- 
nisable lines of nationality. 

(10) 

The peoples of Austria-Hungary, whose place among the nations we wish to see 
safeguarded and assured, should be accorded the first opportunity of autonomous 
development. 

(11) 

Rumania, Serbia, and Montenegro should be evacuatfed, the occupied territories 
restored, Serbia accorded free and secure access to the sea, and the relations of the 
several Balkan States to one another determined by friendly counsel along historically 
established lines of allegiance and nationality, and international guarantees of the 
political and economic independence and territorial integrity of tHe several Balkan 
States should be entered into. 

(12) 

The Turkish portions of the present Ottoman Empire should be assured a secure 
sovereignty, but the other nationalities v/hich are now under Turkish rule should 
be assured an undoubted security of life and an absolutely unmolested opportunity 
of autonomous developm^ent, and the Dardanelles should be permanently opened 
as a free passage to the ships and commerce of all nations under international 
guarantees. 

(13) 

An independent Polish State should be erected, which should include the terri- 
tories inhabited by indisputably Polish populations, which should be assured a 
free and secure access to the sea, and whose political and economic independence 
and territorial integrity should be guaranteed by international covenant. 

(14) 

A general association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the 
purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial 
integrity to great and small States alike. 

"The world is requiring tremendous sacrifices of all the peoples. 
Because of their response in defence of principles of freedom the peoples 
have earned the right to wipe out all vestiges of the old idea that the gov- 
ernment belongs to or constitutes a 'governing class.' In determining 
issues that will vitally affect the lives and welfare of millions of wage 
earners, justice requires that they should have direct representation in 
the agencies authorised to make such decisions. We therefore declare 
that— 

"In the official delegations from each of the belligerent countries 
which will formulate the Peace Treaty, the workers should have direct 
official representation. 

"We declare in favour of a World Labour Congress to be held at the 
same time and place as the Peace Conference that will formulate the 
Peace Treaty closing the war. 

3521—3 



12 

"We declare that the following essentially fundamental principles 
must underlie. the Peace Treaty: — 

"A league of the free peoples of the world in a common cove- 
nant for genuine and practical co-operation to secure justice and 
therefore peace in relations between nations. 

"No political or economic restrictions meant to benefit some 
nations and to cripple or embarrass others. 

"No indemnities or reprisals based upon vindictive purposes, or 
dehberate desire to injure, but to right manifest wrongs. 

"Recognition of the rights of small nations and of the principle, 
'No people m^ust be forced under sovereignty under which it does not 
wish to live.' 

"No territorial changes or adjustment of power except in fur- 
therance of the welfare of the peoples affected and in furtherance of 
world peace. 

" In addition to these basic priniciples there should be incorporated in 
the Treaty which shall constitute the guide of nations in the new period 
and conditions into which we enter at the close of the war, the following 
declarations fundamental to the best interests of all nations and of vital 
importance to wage earners : — 

"That in law and in practice the principle shall be recognised 
that the labour of a human being is not a commodity or article of 
commerce. 

"Involuntary servitude shall not exist except as a punishment 
for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted. 

"The right of free association, free assemblage, free speech and 
free Press shall not be abridged. 

"That the seamen of the merchant marine shall be guaranteed 
the right of leaving their vessels when the same are in safe harbour. 

"No article or commodity shall be shipped or delivered in inter- 
national commerce in the production of which children under the age 
of 16 years have been employed or permitted to work. 

"It shall be declared that the basic workday in industry and 
commerce shall not exceed eight hours per day. ' ' 

"Trial by jury should be established." 

— Introduced by the American Delegation. 

PROPOSALS OF THE BRITISH LABOUR MOVEMENT. 

The following Memorandum of the Parliamentary Committee of the 
Trades Union Congress and the National Executive of the Labour Party 
dealing with War Aims was submitted, and it was suggested that only 
the five resolutions at the close of this Memorandum should be read : — 

The Inter- Allied Conference resolves that its conclusions should be 
transmitted to the Labour and Socialist Parties in the Central Empires, 



13 

and from their replies the neutral committee would determine whether 
sufficient agreement existed to warrant them in convoking an Interna- 
tional Conference. 

We are now able to examine different documents which may be 
considered as indicating the position of the Labour and SociaHst Parties 
of the Central Powers in relation to the Inter- Allied Memorandum — the 
Bulgarian, the Hungarian, the German- Austrian, and the German Social- 
ist Majority — and herewith present a summary taken from the official 
organs of the several parties. 

First, Bulgaria. The Bulgarians accept the general principles of the 
Inter-Allied Memorandum, and make only one reservation, on the ques- 
tion of Macedonia. There is no real disagreement here, for the Inter- 
Allied Memorandum does not propose a final solution of the Macedonian 
question, but simply indicates a method of arriving at a solution. It 
may be said, therefore, that the general agreement between the Bulgarian 
document and the London Memorandum is almost complete. 

Secondly, Hungary. The Hungarian party, as is well known, owing 
to the reactionary electoral law, is not represented in Parliament. When 
the Hungarian Parliament met at the beginning of the war, the party 
made two declarations : (a) That if they had been represented in Parlia- 
ment, they would have voted against war and all war credits; and (6) 
declared emphatically that they would make no truce with the Hun- 
garian Government. In their Stockholm Memorandum, the most con- 
ciliatory of any of the statements made by the parties of the Central 
Powers, they accepted the general ideas of compulsory arbitration and 
disarmament, and they declared against economic war after military 
war. They declared in favour of Serbia having access to the sea ; but they 
also pointed out that Hungary obviously would not allow itself to be cut 
off from the sea, which would thus create the very condition from which 
it desires to see Serbia reHeved. On territorial questions the party ac- 
cepted the formula, "No annexations, no indemnities," but declared that 
on the question of reconstruction every country should pay the cost of 
reconstruction itself, with two exceptions: (1) Independent Belgium, 
which should be reconstructed at the expense of Germany, and (2) 
Independent Serbia, to be reconstructed by a general fund. On the ques- 
tion of Alsace-Lorraine, they desired first that there should be an under- 
standing between the Socialist Parties of France and Germany, but held 
that if such an understanding is impossible for the time being, that fact 
ought not to serve as a pretext for the withdrawal of these parties from 
the International; still less as a pretext for prolonging the war. They also 
desired the Serbian and Bulgarian parties to come to a similar under- 
standing on the question of Macedonia, and thought it possible on the 
bases of national unity and the federal organisation of all the Balkan 
States. In principle, they favour the complete reunion of Polish terri- 
tories in a single independent State, and claim as a minimum the inde- 
pendence of Russian Poland— if that is the wish of the population; and 
for the other Polish territories they demand national liberty and the 
opportunity of free self-development. 



14 

After reconsidering their Stockholm Memorandum, the Hungarians 
say that the resolutions of the London Conference are not opposed to their 
views, and it follows (they say) that they consider the resolutions of the 
London Conference, as well as the results of the Stockholm discussions, as 
a suitable basis for the immediate convocation of an International Con- 
ference, which they would gladly welcome ; but they express the hope that 
the comrades in France, Britain, and Germany will not bring forward 
demands calculated to prevent the International meeting. 

Thirdly, Austria. The German Social Democratic Party of Austria 
accept as a basis of discussion the London Memorandum, and agree with 
its general principles. They point out that long before the Entente 
Socialists they advocated the ideas of a federal Austria, and they have 
repudiated the Brest and Bucharest treaties. But they warn the other 
parties that it may be impossible to reali ze the principles of International 
Socialism in the peace, and that the Socialist Parties may, therefore, 
have to accept a peace which falls far short of the ideals of International 
Socialism. A compromise between the two belligerent groups, they ar- 
gue, is the only alternative to a peace dictated by \dctor to vanquished ; 
but if peace can only be obtained through the \dctory of one group over 
the other, the war will go on for years, and its terms would not be deter- 
mined by the principles of democracy, but by the relative strength of the 
capitalist Governments. To prolong the war would not mean the ulti- 
mate triumph of international principles : it is, therefore, the duty of the 
working-class parties to do all they can to ensure that peace shall realise 
t*^r ideals as far as practicable, and render possible the further develop- 
ment of those ideals after the war, but not to refuse a peace which does 
not completely realise International Socialist principles, because the 
peoples bleeding from a thousand wounds cannot wait for peace until 
the working class has conquered political power and is able to achieve the 
triumph of those principles. 

Fourthly, Germany. The German Socialist Majority, through the 
Muller letter, signify their willingness to attend an International Con- 
ference, but do not accept the London proposals, and fail officially to 
accept even the neutrals' proposals as a basis of discussion. The special 
point of view of the German Majority was explained in their Stockholm 
Memorandum, and a comparison of this document with the neutrals' 
proposals shows that they have made a small advance, if they are willing 
to accept the latter as a basis of discussion. They declare they have 
never considered the military map as the basis of negotiation, that they 
have always been in favour of negotiations in order to obtain a peace of 
conciHation, that they do not consider the Brest treaty as representing 
their political \4ews, and that they do not regard the Eastern question as 
settled. 

It must be pointed out that Troelstra declared in an interview with 
the Swiss representative of "L'Humanite" that Schiedemann stated he 
had no objection to the Neutral Memorandum being accepted as a basis 
of discussion. Upon this point there is still some obscurity, and it would 



15 

appear that if Schiedemann made this statement, he or his colleagues in 
the Majority Party did not attach to it the significance it bore for us when 
we first heard of it. For it must be remembered that there is considerable 
agreement in principle between the Stockholm Neutrals' Memorandum 
and the London Memorandum, although the former does not apply the 
principle of self-determination with the same thoroughness. In both, the 
first point is the necessity of constituting a League of Nations, which 
implies compulsory arbitration, in order to reach general disarmament, and 
free trade in order to remove possible causes of conflict. On territorial 
questions, the neutrals' proposal include the independence of Belgium, 
with restoration at the expense of Germany; the re-establishment of 
Serbia, with access to the sea ; a plebiscite for Alsace-Lorraine ; the inde- 
pendence of Armenia and of the former Russian provinces of Poland, with 
autonomy for Prussian and Austrian Poland ; and the federal organisation 
of Austria and Russia. 

We thus find three of the parties in the Central Empires accept for 
the purpose of discussion at an International Conference the London 
Memorandum; and the fourth — the German Majority — seem inclined at 
least to consider the Stockholm neutral proposals. 

Having considered the position herein stated, the Parliamentary 
Committee of the Trades Union Congress and the National Executive 
of the Labour Party make the following recommendations to the Inter- 
Allied Conference: — 

1. That the Inter-Allied Conference expresses its. satisfaction 
with the replies of the Bulgarian and Hungarian Socialists, and Jrhe 
German Social Democratic Party of Austria, in so far as they accept 
the decisions of the London Conference as the basis of discussion at 
an International Meeting. 

2. That the Inter- Allied Conference expresses its deep regret 
that the reply of the German Majority — though their published let- 
ter expresses their willingness to attend an International — does not 
accept the London proposals and fails officially to accept even the 
neutrals' proposals as a basis of discussion. So long as these points 
remain unanswered, they create an obstacle to the holding of an 
International Conference. 

3. That the Inter- Allied Conference be requested to appoint a 
Commission to draft and forward replies through the Press and other 
channels to the Socialist Parties whose replies indicate a willingness 
to discuss the situation on the agreed basis, pointing out that the 
difficulty in the way of an immediate International Meeting is the 
indefiniteness of the German Majority reply, and urging them to use 
their influence to get the German attitude defined ; and also to send a 
considered reply to the German Majority. 

4. That the Commission be instructed to continue, by methods 
of open discussion, to state the position of Allied Labour and Social- 
ism in harmony with the decision of Annual Conferences, Con- 
gresses, and Inter-Allied Conferences, including that of February 
14th, 1915. 



16 

5. That every effort be made at the Inter- Alhed Conference to 
secure general acceptance of the proposal of a concurrent Working- 
Class Conference when the official Peace Congress assembles, as 
proposed by the American Federation of Labour. 

Mr. Henderson suggested that the document presented by Mr . 
Gompers, and that presented on behalf of the Parliamentary Committee 
and the Executive Committee of the Labour Party be referred to the 
Commission on war Aims. — Agreed. 

Mr. Wallace suggested that the two Commissions meet together 
and apportion the resolutions, but 

Mr. Webb replied that the two Committees might be left to take 
care that there was no clashing between them. 

The following telegram was then read from Roubanovitch : — 

"Paris, 16th September. 
"Having received today (16th September) telegram inviting me 
take part in work of Inter- Allied Conference, regret that for reasons 
beyond my control it will be impossible to come London in time. 

"Russian Social Revolutionary Party will therefore be absent 
officially as in February of this year, but in case Comrade Roussanoff 
should be present please give to him a consultative position for pur- 
poses information. 

"Party as a whole sends fraternal greetings Inter- Allied Con- 
ference. It accepts London Memorandum inspired by the same ideas 
as the Russian Revolution from the very beginning, and principles 
formulated by Wilson. 

"Our Party is asking for the regeneration of Russia as a single 
and Independent State based on the sovereignty of the Russian 
people expressed through Constituent Assembly, relying only on the 
creative forces of the great Russian people itself. 

"Our Party asks for the abrogation Brest-Litovsk Treaty con- 
trary to any durable peace, and asks for the Socialists of all the 
Allied and neutral countries to denounce this Brest-Litovsk Treaty. 

"The Party at its last Council, held under the criminal threat of 
the Bolshevist machine guns, decided to accept the help of the allied 
armies with a purely strategic object in order to rid Russia of the 
German yoke, and re-establish by consent of the legal power emanat- 
ing from the constituent, the combative force of the Russian army 
and fleet. 

"The Party, therefore, strongly relies on the help of all the 
Socialist Parties for whom national defence against imperialist ag- 
gressors is a sacred duty. With this reserv^ation will agree to partici- 
pate in International Conference having for its aim the establish- 
ment by the workers of the whole world of a just, democratic, lasting 
peace." 

"Roubanovitch." 



17 

Various resolutions were read, and were referred to the Commis- 
sions. 

Mr. McGuRK (Great Britain) asked if it was understood that dele- 
gates could send in individual resolutions without consulting the Party 
to which they belonged. If so, he entered his protest. 

Mr. Henderson replied that such was the ruling of the Conference 
yesterday, which was the only ruling they had to guide them. 

Mr. Sexton said he had no recollection of any such decision having 
been arrived at. 

Mr. Richards (Great Britain) moved that the resolutions be rele- 
gated to their respective parties. 

Mr. Ramsay MacDonald could not understand the proposal which 
had just been made, as it was decided yesterday on the report of the Com- 
mittee on Procedure, that the Commissions were to receive suggestions by 
individual members of the Conference. 

Mr. Richards suggested that the Conference should instruct the 
Commissions to ascertain how far resolutions submitted by individuals 
were in accordance with the views of the Parties they represented. 

The Chairman ruled that an expression of that kind might be brought 
before the Conference, but to instruct Commissions as to how they should 
proceed would be to deprive the Commissions of their prerogative. 

Mr. FrEy felt it necessary to differ somewhat from the ruling. It 
seemed to him that in so far as the Conference was a creative body, au- 
thority to conduct its business in whatever manner seemed most appro- 
priate should be given to it. It therefore seemed to him that if this Con- 
ference desired to instuct the Commissions to do their work as the Con- 
ference desired it should be done, then it was well within the province 
of the Conference to give these instructions. He did not want to appeal 
to the chair now, but asked the chair to consider his suggestion whether, 
if deemed necessary, orders could be given to a subordinate body. 

The Chairman said that it has always been his understanding that 
the body creating Commissions would have the right to give them 
certain instructions as to when to report upon a certain resolution, but 
when it came to instructing them as to the method of procedure it was 
not his understanding that the body had the right. He, however, was per- 
fectly willing to leave that question to the Conference. 

Mr. GompERS moved: — 

"That where there is a grpup represented in this Conference 
requesting that a resolution of any member of the group be referred 
to that group for consideration first, that that right be accorded to 
that group." 

Mr. FrEy seconded. 

The question was raised whether, if Mr. Gompers' motion was car- 
ried, it would necessitate an addition to the resolutions already handed in. 



18 

Discussion ensued, and it was stated that the resolutions had been 
handed in, and those resolutions would be referred back to the different 
groups before being acted upon by the Commission to which they had 
been referred, if requested. 

Mr. W. Thorne (Great Britain) presented a resolution against any 
terms of peace being concluded until the Central Powers had been pun- 
ished for their brutalities, and Mr. SExTON (Great Britain) presented a 
second resolution on the same lines. 

Further discussion then took place regarding individual resolutions 
being presented to Commission before being laid before Conference, and 
it was stated that that procedure was contrary to the principle of an 
International Conference. 

M. Renaudel asked that all resolutions put before the chair should 
be simply read and submitted to the Commissions. 

On a show of hands, Mr. Gompers' motion was defeated by 28 votes 
to 18. 

Further resolutions dealing with the Austrian Note and the attitude 
of the Allied Governments thereto, and the question of Allied Interven- 
tion in Russia were handed in and referred to the__appropriate Commis- 
sions. 

Mr. Gompers moved, and it was agreed : — 

"That the Committee prepare for the next session a list giving 
the names and groups represented at this Conference." 

Miss BoNDFiELD (Great Britain) moved; and Mr. WtgnalIv 
seconded : — 

"That the balance of the resolutions be referred to the Commis- 
sions direct without being read by the chairman." 

It was decided that, in accordance with Rule 7, the resolutions could 
be referred direct to the Commissions. 

As to the issue of minutes of the meeting, it was stated the Drafting 
Commission would deal with the matter. 

Arrangements were then made for the Commissions on war aims and 
the international situation to proceed with their business, and the Con- 
ference adjourned until 10 o'clock on Thursday morning. 



19 



THURSDAY'S SESSION. 

The Conference reassembled on Thursday, September 19th, 1918, at 
1 l^a. m., with M. Cachin (French Socialist Party) as Chairman. 

The Chairman thanked the Conference, in the name of the French 
delegation, for allowing him to take the chair. He stated that the two 
Commissions appointed yesterday had met, and that one of the reports 
was now ready. 

M. VandERVKLde (Belgium) suggested, and it was agreed, that the 
report which was ready should be brought before the Conference at once. 

Mr. Henderson explained that there were two reports to be pre- 
sented, one under the heading of "The Austrian Peace Note" and the 
other under the heading of "Russia." 

With reference to the Austrian Peace Note, Mr. Henderson stated 
that the Commission had considered all the resolutions referred to them 
on this subject and had drafted the following report unanimously : — 

THE AUSTRIAN PEACE NOTE. 

This Conference has given fullest consideration to the Note which 
the Austro-Hungarian Government has addressed to each of the belliger- 
ents. 

By proposing to the latter a secret Conference for the discussion of 
the possibilities of peace, the Austro-Hungarian Government evidently 
wishes to give the appearance of satisfaction to the desire of the peoples 
for peace, and to throw on the Governments of the Entente the responsi- 
bility for the continuation of the war. 

The fact that it is not yet known whether the initiative in this peace 
offensive comes from Austria only or conjointly from the two Central 
Powers appears to indicate that the Austrian proposal has been dictated 
more by anxiety to strengthen the internal cohesion of the Monarchy 
than by the desire to co-operate effectively in the settlement of the 
world conflict. 

This Conference is of opinion that the Allied Governments would be 
assuming a heavy and perilous responsibility by adopting a purely nega- 
tive policy. 

The Allied Governments, in reply, should make clear the identity of 
their views by close and continuous co-operation and a public and collect- 
ive declaration of their aims and intentions. They should subscribe to the 
14 points formulated by President Wilson, thus adopting a policy of 
clearness and moderation as opposed to a policy dictated exclusively by 
changes in the war map; and, finally, they should interrogate their op- 
ponents in regard to their general and particular War Aims, which have 
never been defined, thus imposing upon the working classes the responsi- 
bility of choosing between the solutions proposed. 



20 

The Government of the United States has aheady been able to 
reject the proposal of the Austro-Hungarian Government by observing 
that, having clearly and publicly formulated its own War Aims, it did 
not see the use of reproducing the same declarations in a secret con- 
ference. 

It is by defining their own War Aims, jointly with the United States, 
with the same precision and clearness, that the Allied Governments will 
give to the workers of the world the conviction that they are resolved to 
continue the struggle, not in order to meet the aggression of the Central 
Monarchies by undertaking in their turn a war of conquest, but for the 
single purpose of establishing on an unassailable foundation a peace 
which will be just and lasting, and in conformity with the aspirations of 
international democracy. 

Mr. Henderson drew attention to the fact that the report on 
"Russia" was in two parts, the first part being signed by all the delegates 
on the Commission, with the exception of the two representatives of the 
United States (Messrs. Baine and Wallace). The difference lay in the 
third and fourth paragraphs of the first part and the third paragraph of 
the second part of the report. 

RUSSIA. 

I. 

This Conference sends an expression of deepest sympathy to the 
Labour and Socialist organisations of Russia, which, after having destroyed 
their own Imperialism, continue an unremitting struggle against German 
Imperialism. 

It declares that if the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk stands, it would con- 
firm the collapse of the Russian Revolution, and would most gravely 
compromise the future of the democracy of the world. It invites the 
workers of the Allied Countries to refuse to recognise any Peace Settle- 
ment which does not secm-e the complete freedom of the Russian 
People. 

On the other hand, it puts the workers of the Allied Countries on 
their guard against the tremendous dangers of a policy of intervention in 
Russia which, instead of supporting the efforts of democratic Russia, 
should favour the reactionary tendencies that aim at the re-establish- 
ment of the Monarchy, and even under the pretext of fighting Bolshe- 
vism, should serve the reaction against Socialism and Democracy. 

It declares in advance that to such a poHcy the working classes of the 
Western democracies would have the elementary duty of offering opposi- 
tion without stint. 

Belgium: Huysmans, Vandervelde. 

France: Longuet, Renaudee. 

Great Britain: Henderson, Hiee. 

Itaey: Rosoni, Rosetti. 

Serbia: Popovitch. 



21 

II. 

This Conference sends an expression of deepest sympathy to the 
Labour and Sociahst organisations of Russia, which, after having 
destroyed their own ImperiaHsm, continue an unremitting strugde 
against German ImperiaHsm. 

It declares that if the treaty of Brest-Litovsk stands, it would con- 
firm the collapse of the Russian Revolution, and would most gravely 
compromise the future of the democracy of the world. It invites the 
workers of the Allied Countries to refuse to recognise any Peace Settle- 
ment which does not secure the complete freedom of the Russian people. 

It is of opinion that the Allied Governments should make very ex- 
pHcit pronouncements to the peoples of Russia to the effect that armed 
intervention is taking place with the hope of counteracting the sinister 
influence of the Central Powers upon the so-called Bolshevik Govern- 
ment, which has suppressed the utterances and the aspirations of the 
great majority of the Russian working classes; and that no military suc- 
cesses whatever shall be made the excuse for arresting the march of the 
peoples of Russia towards true Democracy. It looks to the Allied Gov- 
ernments to give tangible proof of the sincerity of such declarations by 
their actions in the occupied districts of Russia. 

United States of America: Baine, Wallace. 
The question of sending a deputation to Russia with a view to ascer- 
taining where the serious difference lies as between the two sections, the 
Bolshevists and Socialists, was referred back for instructions, as it' had 
not been given to the Commission on the authority of the Conference. 

The Commission recommended that the Conference should appoint 
an Executive Committee, composed at most of two delegates from each 
country, to supervise the execution of the resolutions of that and the 
organisation of subsequent Inter-Allied Conferences. This suggestion of 
a permanent Committee came up at the 1917 Conference. 

DISCUSSION ON "THE AUSTRIAN NOTE." 

Mr. Henderson formally moved the adoption of the Commission's 
resolution. 

Mr. Wallace (United States) seconded. 

Mr. GoMPERS said that the report of the Commission in reference to 
the resolutions referred to it upon "The Austrian Note" did not meet 
with the entire approval of the delegates of the American Federation of 
Labour. They considered it was an indirect reflection upon the activities 
of the Governments of the Allied countries; but inasmuch as the Com- 
mission was unanimous they would vote for it. 

Mr. Merrheim (France) pointed out that the third paragraph 
seemed to him to be a dangerous one. He said that proposals which 
might have led to peace conversations had always been met either with 
the objection that they were merely war manoeuvres when the fortunes 



22 

of war were more the side of the enemy, or that they were intended for 
some such purpose as that indicated in the paragraph. That was a dan- 
gerous attitude both in view of the Sociahst position and from the point 
of view of propaganda. It was perhaps more important that there 
was some contradiction between the last two paragraphs. They seemed 
to approve of the Government of the United States giving a summary 
answer to the Austrian Note before they had consulted the Allies, while 
in the last paragraph they said that the Allies should consult each other 
and give a joint declaration. He agreed with the spirit of the last part of 
the resolution. 

M. Vandbrvklde (Belgium) regretted the doubt on the sincerity 
and pure intentions of the Austrian Government, but thought such a 
sentence in the Commission's declaration was indispensable. The second 
point he considered more serious, but did not see that there was any con- 
tradiction in the Commission's report. 

M. Thomas (France), referring to the desire expressed, by Mr. 
Gcmpers not to express unnecessary criticism of the Governments, said 
it was perhaps not a bad habit of the Socialist Parties in Western Europe 
to give their Governments a hint and a push now and then. With regard 
to the American reply to the Austrian Note, "he agreed with M. Merrheim 
rather than with M. Vandervelde. He thought it absolutely necessary 
that we should follow a common policy. He admired the speed of the 
United States in answering the Austrian Note, but thought a few days' 
conversation between the Allies might have been useful, and that it was 
not enough to refer to the 14 points of President Wilson. 

M. Peroni (Italy) said he regretted the situation in Austria- 
' Hungary had not been taken into account, and was sorry that something 
could not be said at the Conference by the Socialists of the West to sup- 
port these struggling for independence. 

Mr. Ramsay MacDonald (Great Britain) made a strong appeal for 
unity among the Allies and at the Conference. He said no section at the 
Conference would get its own way, but that they must try and meet each 
other so as to present a united front. He thought the valuable part of the 
resolution was that all the Governments should lay down to their people 
what were the general terms of their war aims. The time had come for the 
Labour and Socialist Movement to speak for itself and to have its own 
pronouncements, and this was consistent with what President Wilson had 
said. They had formulated their own war aims, and why should they not 
make them the basis upon which they asked the Governments to make 
their replies to the Austrian Note? They had never had President Wil- 
son's 14 points before them officially. He agreed that it might be magnifi- 
cent for America to reply to Austria's Peace Note in half an hour, but it 
was not war. 

M. Renaudel (France) said it was essential that the position of the 
Allies should be clearly established now by common agreement and by 
agreement with the United States, and the Conference undoubtedly 
must say something about its own conception of war aims. Though they 
were not the Government they must always speak and think as if they 



23 

had the responsibihty of real Government. They did not know whether 
the intentions of Austria were sincere or not, but they could not run the 
risk of giving advice to their peoples and Governments which, if the 
advice was mistaken, might lead them where there could be no thorough- 
fare. The text before the Conference meant no secret conversations, no 
conversations between individual Governments, and no concealment of 
their intentions or war aims, and that was why he asked the Conference 
to accept the report of the Commission. 

Mr. GoMPERS moved that the morning session be continued until the 
discussion closed, and that the vote be taken upon re-assembling in the 
afternoon. 

The Chairman suggested that the motion be accepted on the under- 
standing that only the two delegates whose names had been sent in 
should speak. 

Mr. Gompers' motion on a show of hands was agreed to, 

Mr. T. Richards (Great Britain) joined with Mr. Ramsay Mac- 
Donald in the regret that the Labour war aims appeared to be overlooked 
and relegated into a subordinate position, and hoped it was not yet too 
late to have some pronouncement upon them by the American delega- 
tion. He pointed out that the British Labour war aims, issued in Decem- 
ber, 1917, were the first to be published. 

In reply to Mr. Ramsay MacDonald, he said that Mr. Lansing's 
quick reply to Austria might not be war, but it was the British Labour 
view of the situation. 

Mr. Gompers, referring to the fact that regret had been expressed 
that in the proposals submitted to the Conference by the American 
Federation of Labour no reference to the proposals or the war aims of the 
Labour Inter- Allied Conference had been made, said that they did not 
desire in the presentation of their views to enter into a controversial 
matter at the outset, and it was, perhaps, still more important that the 
proposals of American Labour were the views developed by their move- 
ment from the beginning of the war. The declarations which they had 
submitted were not of recent date, but were the result of deep delibera- 
tions during the past four years. He recommended that President 
Wilson's 14 points might be endorsed by the Conference when the time 
came for them to be considered. He had not heard one word expressed 
dissenting from them either there or elsewhere among the workers 
or citizens generally of the Allied countries. Although they had endorsed 
President Wilson's 14 declarations of war aims, the American Federation 
of Labour had expressed their ow^n aims in their own language long before 
Mr. Lloyd George or President Wilson gave forth their utterance, and 
before the Laboiu* Party made its declaration. The American Federation 
of Labour were not in full accord with the report of the Committee. In 
his judgment it was an unjustified, indirect criticism of the Governments 
of the Allied Countries, and he believed that it was an unjustified criti- 
cism of the British Government, but there was no criticism on the posi- 
tion of the American Government or American Labour, and for that 



24 

reason, if the men of Great Britain could afford to allow that criticism, 
either direct or indirect, to stand, he had no right to intervene. Mr. 
Gompers added that he and his party were behind their Government a 
100 per cent, and behind the Allies in thiswar whatever may betide. They 
agreed with the resolution not because they were in entire accord with it, 
but because they believed it to be the best expression that could be 
obtained from the Conference at this time. 
The Committee then adjourned. 



THURSDAY AFTERNOON SESSION. 

Mr. Henderson said there was a feeling in the Conference that the 
Commission last night had ignored the War Aims agreed upon at the 
previous Inter- Allied Conference. That, however, was a mistaken idea. 
The Commission had had referred to them four resolutions. Two of the 
resolutions referred very definitely to President Wilson's War Aims; not 
one of the four referred to the Inter- Allied War Aims, and it was no busi- 
ness of theirs to go outside the terms of reference. They also had regard 
to the fact that another Commission was deaUng with War Aims. 

The Chairman stated that he had observed with satisfaction the 
practical unanimity, with some slight reserves, which the Conference had 
shown towards the Resolution on the Austrian Note. He proposed, if no 
objection was taken, that the Conference should take account of their 
practical unanimity, and should then pass on to the second question — 
the Russian Resolution. 

RESOLUTION ON RUSSIA. 

There were minority and majority recommendations relating to Rus- 
sia from the Commission. 

Mr. Henderson proposed Resolution I. He thought there would be 
general agreement with regard to the first paragraph, which was an 
expression of sympathy with our Russian comrades. 

The second paragraph was a declaration against the Brest-Litovsk 
Treaty, and declared that it could not stand ; he hoped that there would 
be general acceptance of that declaration. 

With regard to the third paragraph there was a feehng in the Com- 
mission that there was not sufficient evidence to justify their making an 
emphatic declaration either for or against the present intervention by the 
AlHed Governments through their armed forces, so they merely warned 
the workers of Allied countries against what might be the consequences 
of armed intervention. 

Mr. WALI.ACE (United States) moved the adoption of the Minority 
Report. 

M. LoNGUET (France) stated there was nothing in the resolution 
which could be understood to be against any Social Revolutionary Party 



25 

in Russia. When they expressed deep sympathy with the working classes 
and SociaUsts, they meant by that all the various parties in Russia, in- 
cluding the Bolsheviks. Whatever might be said about the supposed 
sympathy of the Bolsheviks with the Germans, they knew that the Bol- 
sheviks had been bound under force of arms to accept the Brest-Litovsk 
Treaty, and accepted it only as a respite till Russia was able to continue 
the war. 

Upon the second paragraph there was agreement. There is no mis- 
take about the Brest-Litovsk Treaty being the most contemptible treaty 
ever drawn up. In regard to the last paragraph, they agreed that this 
intervention was not only contrary to the principles of International 
Socialism, but was playing into the hands of German ImperiaHsm. 
In this spirit he and his colleagues would vote on this resolution. 

M. VandkrvkIvDH (Belgium), replying to Mr. Wallace, stated that 
the resolution had its initiative from the Belgian Delegation. The Com- 
mission had before it two resolutions, one by Longuet and the other 
tabled by himself. Longuet's resolution condemned strongly and most 
energetically intervention of any kind in Russia. In this opinion Longuet 
stood almost alone. The Commission could not so absolutely condemn 
intervention in Russia if it was in answer to the appeal from the people of 
Russia. 

The Americans had put forward another text with regard to the final 
paragraph, and he could not find any vital difference between them. 
They proceeded on the same lines, and in a sense the Belgian and Ameri- 
can text might be made the same document. He could quite understand 
the Americans putting forward their separate resolution, as they knew 
with what extraordinary care and prudence President Wilson acted before 
he gave his consent to any intervention. They knew his sympathy with 
the Russians, and that he would do nothing that would jeopardise the 
Russian democracy. 

The Chairman stated that two delegates put in a special appeal for 
the Conference, to invite M. Kerensky to speak on this subject, although 
he was only a visitor. It was agreed to hear M. Kerensky at that stage. 

M. KkrEnsky then addressed the Conference in French. 

ADDRESS BY M. KERENSKY, TO THE INTER-ALUED 
CONFERENCE, LONDON, SEPTEMBER 18, 1918. 

I have to thank the Conference for the high honour which it has 
given me in allowing me to speak at its meeting in my capacity as its 
guest. 

You have thus given me the opportunity of explaining myself to the 
most competent assembly of the representatives of the Working Class 
and the Socialist Parties of the nations allied to Russia. 

I do not speak here as a member of a Party, or even as a Socialist, 
but solely as a Russian defending the national cause and honour of his 
country. It is the more easy for me to speak thus, in that the Socialist 



26 

Party to which I belong — the Social Revolutionary Party — has devoted 
all its strength to the cause of the country, to the cause of national de- 
fence, and to the regeneration of the Russian State under democratic and 
republican form. 

I speak not only to the opinion of the working classes of the allied 
countries; I am sure, in advance, of the support of the great Working 
Class. 

I would speak also to public opinion throughout the Allied Nations 
in its entirety, because I am not now pleading here in a foreign land the 
cause of any one party, or any one class, I am defending the vital interests 
of the whole Russian people. 

I want, first, to protest, with my utmost energy, against the opinion 
which has been expressed here, as elsewhere, that Russia has left the 
Alliance of the Nations which are fighting against Germany in making a 
separate peace with Germany. I offer once more my testimony, as I 
offered it three months ago in London, that Russia has never recognised 
the Peace of Brest-Litovsk, and has never ceased to struggle against 
Germany. I go further, and I affirm that the part which Russia has 
played in the common cause of our Alliance can never be struck out of the 
general balance sheet of national sacrifices. 

I will not speak here any more of the first years of the war, when, at a 
time when the British Empire was still in process of organising its great 
army, the Russian Army, almost without arms, almost with naked feet, 
stood between Europe and disaster, sacrificing without reckoning millions 
of its best citizens. 

What I want to draw special attention to is that Revolutionary Rus- 
sia, so depised at this moment by victorious governments, had had con- 
centrated upon its front during the summer of last year the largest num- 
ber of German troops who had ever been there since the beginning of the 
war. This effort of Revolutionary Russia allowed the United States, 
which entered the war after the Russian Revolution, to get ready for the 
combat to such an extent that the calculations of the German General 
Staff as to the inevitable delay of America have been overthrown. The 
basis of the Allied victory has been watered with Russian blood too 
abundantly for anyone to realise the idea (not very generous in itself) 
of profiting by the crime of the Bolsheviks against Russia to the detri- 
ment of the interests of Russia. The time and place are not suited for de- 
tailed explanations; detailed explanations of how the German General 
Staff and crowds of fanatics have managed to break the Russian Front 
and to penetrate even to the very heart of Russia. In this assembly I 
know there is no one who would seek to throw upon the Russian Revolu- 
tionists the consequences of the Tsarist regime. It is necessary for me to 
say once for all, as I have said in Russia, no one in Russia has recognised 
the Peace of Brest-Litovsk, but also that in fact Russia never yet found 
itself in a state of peace with Germany. 

Under new forms of war, in an unorganised state, the struggles of 
the Russian people against an implacable enemy continue without 
ceasing. 



27 

You here in the West only hear distant echoes of this violent strug- 
gle, such as the news of the Peasant Rising in the Ukraine ; the news of the 
heroic attempt ag inst the life of the German ambassador ; the news of the 
revolts at Moscow and Petrograd; but what you remain in ignorance of 
is the enormous work of organisation which was accomplished by the Rus- 
sian Democracy, by the SociaHst and Liberal Parties, by intellectuals, by 
officers, and the working class and peasant organisations in the terrible 
conditions of the Bolshevik terror. 

Today you are beginning to see the results of this long work, and to 
the aid of the National Russian forces, and in response to their appeal the 
troops of the Allied Nations have arrived to take up the struggle against a 
common enemy. Do you think the Allies consider they have gone into a 
neutral or enemy country? No, gentlemen, we must finish once for all 
with this legend of the neutrality of Russia, and it is on you — on the Con- 
ference of Workmen and Socialists — that falls the duty of emphasising 
your alliance with the Russian people, because it is the Russian democracy 
which has never abandoned its struggle against Germany, and because 
it is by the initiative of its democracy that the intervention has begun. 
What violations of truth there lay in the declaration of the resolution pro- 
posed by a Group of members of the French delegation ! That interven- 
tion has been called for by the Russian capitalist bourgoisie and by the 
International bourgoisie, moved exclusively by material interest. Is it 
possible that the members of the Conference, who are the authors 
of this resolution, do not know that the Russian capitalist bourgoisie is 
running a race with the Bolsheviks in their appeal for the gracious 
support of the German Emperor ? Do they not know that the bourgoisie 
Governments of the Ukraine, of Finland, of the Don, are in alliance, 
like the Bolsheviks, with Germany? Do they not know that even 
one party of the Liberals, with Miliukoff at their hea ', was ready to pass 
over to the side of Germany, if Germany wished? The resolution in ques- 
tion declares further that the suggested intervention can only favour the 
designs of German Imperialism. Do not the authors of the resolution 
know that already, long before the arrival of the Allied troops in Russia, 
those traitors to the country, to the Revolution, and to Democracy — the 
Bolsheviks — had already rendered German Imperialism master of 
Eastern Europe, and had received for their services to the German reac- 
tion the title of the Ultra-Democratic Government, which was given to 
them by the Emperor William himself? No, this Russian democracy, 
which has seen too close at hand what a collapse for the whole world 
victorious German Imperialism prepares; it is this democracy which has 
renewed the struggle against Germany in the name of its patriotic 
and international duty, and has called to its aid the troops of the Allied 
democracy. For the Socialists of a country on whose territory the troops 
of the five quarters of the world are fighting together in its defence, what 
hypocrisy for them to protest against the giving of military aid to another 
State! 

Gentlemen, it must be sufficient for each of you, who are members of 
the International, who recognise the right of each nation to an inde- 
pendent existence, and who are fulfiUing in their own country the duty of 



28 

national defence. I say it must be clear enough to each of you to conceive 
Russia cut into pieces by the Brest-Litovsk Treaty, and by the German 
Administrator who is commanding at Moscow. You must understand 
without explanation why the Union for the Regeneration of Russia, 
that is to say, the coalition of the Sociahst, Democratic, and Liberal 
Parties, could not refrain from the responsibility of calling in Allied 
troops into Russian territory, and the Union for Russian Regeneration, 
seeking to re-establish the Russian Front, has gladly undertaken the task 
of re-establishing a united Russian State and the central authority of the 
State. 

When I left Russia four months ago in order to press for the most 
speedy intervention possible, under the conditions laid down by this 
union, the work of the Union in preparing the organisation of the Russian 
State was still in a preparatory stage — in a conspiratorial stage; that is 
why on arriving in England in June I could not speak publicly of the 
activities of the Union, but I have described in full to Allied Govern- 
ments, and to single political leaders, everything that was happening in 
Russia. Since then the secret work of the Union has been converted into 
public action. Governments have been set up in Russia on its initiative 
at Archangel and Samara, and now events of enormous importance are 
taking place at this moment at Oufa, a province of the region of the 
Volga. At Oufa, under the Presidency of Mr. Avksentioff , a member of 
the Social Revolutionary Party, a member of the Union for Russian 
Regeneration, and former Minister of the Provisional Government, 
there is sitting a Conference of Members of the Constituent Assembly, 
which was dissolved by the Bolsheviks, together with the representatives 
of the Zemstvos, and of the municipalities of the towns and provinces, 
delivered from the Bolsheviks, and the Cossack districts of Siberia. 
This Conference is attempting to co-ordinate the actions of the local 
Governments in creating a Central Government for the whole of Russia. 
In Siberia there has been existing for several months a Government 
created independently of the Union for Regeneration, but also perfectly 
democratic, and there is sitting a local Representative Assembly — the 
Siberian Duma. 

I assure you that the Governments of Russia and Siberia have 
nothing in common with the capitalist bourgeoisie — all their action is 
based on the principle of the great Russian Revolution. Thus life in 
Russia is a long way off from that disorganisation and political chaos 
in which, according to the opinion generally spread in the West, Russia 
is still submerged. I can not find in the Press any of the information 
about the action of the regenerated National Governments which the 
British and French Governments possess. Thus, for instance : Why does 
not European public opinion know that the autonomous Government of 
Siberia is recognised by the whole of the organised civil population of 
Siberia, and that this Government has proposed the question of its official 
recognition by the Allies, pending the creation of the Central Govern- 
ment for the whole of Russia? And, why, on the other hand, has this 
same Government of Siberia felt obliged in its note of July 24th, ad- 
dressed to the Allies, to insist upon the impropriety of the support given 
by the Allies to isolated individuals and private organisations which 



29 

call themselves public authorities? The Siberian Government has even 
had to warn the Allies of the results which such a policy may have upon 
the attitude of the Siberian population to the Allies. Why has there been 
no information in the English Press, with the exception of some obscure 
paragraphs from the French journals, as to the causes which prevented 
at the last moment the attempt to upset the democratic Government of 
Tchaikovsky, who had been delegated to Archangel by the Union for 
Russian Regeneration, and who had overthrown there the Bolsheviks 
and prepared the way for the landing of the Allies? I assure you that the 
British authorities could, if they chose, relate very interesting things upon 
the origin of the abortive attempt of Mr. Chaplin, as well as about the 
circumstances which have prevented this gentleman from succeeding 
entirely in his attempts. 

I will say nothing about significant facts. I will only say that the 
tone of alarm in the resolution which has been submitted to the Confer- 
ence corresponds exactly to the truth. 

Gentlemen, it is not on the side of Russia, the fantastic Russian 
capitalist bourgeoise, that we must look for dangers of the intervention 
which has begun for the liberty of the Russian people, and for the inter- 
ests of the democracy of the world. I want to say straight out the danger 
is to be found in the apparently insurmountable tendency of certain men 
of the Governments, who are very influential, to maintain at whatever 
cost in Russia isolated persons and private organisations which desire to 
seize power in Russia by Bolshevik methods, that is to say, by violence. I 
declare resolutely that any form of anti-democratic Government in 
Russia can only triumph temporarily, and only with the aid of foreign 
military force, just as the Bolshevik can maintain itself only as far as the 
German bayonets penetrate. 

Representatives of the Allies in Russia, and especially their military 
representatives, ought to receive a categorical order from their Govern- 
ments to give up all political relations with separate persons and private 
organisations, and to act in accordance with the agreement come to with 
the existing Democratic Government. 

Public opinion of the Powers fighting against German autocracy, in 
the name of popular liberty, has for its duty to obtain from the respective 
Governments a straight and loyal conduct with regard to the Russian 
people in conformity with the democratic ideal for which they are fighting. 

Citizens, I do not doubt that the democratic opinion of the Allied 
countries will resolutely support Russian democracy in its heroic struggle 
against a common enemy, against the Bolsheviks on the one hand, and 
on the other attempts to replace the "Red Terror" by the "White Ter- 
ror," for the restoration of autocracy. I was, and I remain, an ardent 
advocate of intervention, because I am persuaded that no force can 
deprive the Russian people of its liberty. 

Mr. FrEy asked that in view of the importance of the statements 
contained in the address just made by Kerensky, they should be pub- 
lished in full in the report of the Conference, and this was agreed to. 



30 

M. PoPOViTCH (Servia) said that the SociaHst Party of Servia was 
against intervention. They held that every war was bad, and knew that 
in the hands of a capitahst Government such intervention may, and 
probably will, work for reaction in Russia. If the other interpretation of 
the text was admitted, then he would abandon his own, and accept the 
military resolution. 

M. Albert Thomas (France) thought there was too much to be said 
on the subject of Russia, but they ought to limit themselves to what was 
really the issue in this debate. He felt they must go back to the text 
itself. When it was drafted, all concerned had thought it said nothing 
more nor less than was meant, that it was quite clear, and expressed 
sympathy with those who struggled against Germany. They were not 
against any intervention, but must condemn it as far as it meant the 
favouring of reactionary tendencies. To those who drafted the text, 
it had a very clear and definite meaning, and he was greatly surprised 
to hear his friend Longuet give it quite a different interpretation. If there 
was anyone there who wanted to say he considered there should be no 
form of intervention whatever, let him do so. He considered the "wait 
and see" policy of the Governments was no policy, and they wanted that 
Conference to say that Socialism could not be satisfied with a policy of 
inertia. They knew what they wanted and must not hesitate between 
the different issues before them. Their duty was to stand firm to their 
<4'^' principles. They must oppose to the doctrine of violence, whatever its 
source, the freedom and self-government of the nations. If M. Longuet 
was going to twist this text from its original meaning they would prefer to 
abandon it, and adhere to the American text. What they wanted before 
everything else was to be clear. 

Mr. GoMPKRS interposed to say he thought it strange that in this 
Conference he so seldom heard the term "Labour." As the representative 
of the wage -earners of America he submitted that it would be only right 
to refer to the workers as workers, and not as "Socialists." 

Mr. J. B. Williams then moved that the matter be referred back ta 
the Commission. 

M. VandervELDE seconded, and the motion was carried. 



*■!**. 



31 



FRIDAY'S SESSION. 

The Conference reassembled on the 20th September, 1918, at 10.30 
a. m., with M. L. de BrouckERE (Belgian Socialist Party) as chairman. 

Mr. Frky (United States) presented the following report of the 
Commission on war aims: — 

The Conference welcomes the participation of the American Federa- 
tion of Labour, and recognises, in agreement with the Federation, in this 
world war a conflict between autocratic and democratic institutions; the 
contest between the principles of self-development through free institu- 
tions and that of arbitrary control of government by groups or individ- 
uals for selfish ends. 

The Conference agrees that, after four years of war, it is essential 
that the peoples and the Governments of all countries should have a full 
and definite knowledge of the spirit and determination of this Inter- 
Allied Conference, representative of the workers of the respective 
countries, with reference to the prosecution of the war. 

In accordance with the declaration of the previous Conferences of 
the 14th of February, 1915, and 20th to 24th February, 1918, the Con- 
ference declares it to be its unqualified determination to do all that lies 
within its power to assist the allied countries in the marshalling of all their 
resources, to the end that the armed forces of the Central Powers may be 
driven from the soil of the nations which they have invaded and now 
occupy; and, furthermore, that these armed forces shall be opposed so 
long as they carry out the orders or respond to the control of the mili-. 
taristic autocratic Governments of the Central Powers which now threaten 
the existence of all self-governing people. 

The Conference, further, welcomes the confirmation in all essential 
features, which the 14 propositions laid down by President Wilson, and 
presented to the Conference by the American Federation of Labour, give 
to the proposals contained in the Memoranduip on War Aims, agreed to 
by the Conference of 20th to 24th February, 1918, and appended 
hereto. The Conference accepts these 14 propositions* as a concise 
summary of the main principles which the Memorandum of War Aims 
expounds in detail to the various questions to be dealt with; and agrees 
that only in these principles can the groundwork for a lasting peace be 
found. 

T^he Conference accordingly calls upon the several Governments of 
the allied nations unequivocably to adopt these principles, as formulated 
by President Wilson and expounded in the Memorandum of War Aims, in 
a Joint Declaration of Allied Policy; and the Conference recommends 
the representative organisations of the workers in each country to bring 
pressure to bear upon the Government, in order to induce it to adopt this 
course. 

The Conference once more takes note of the tremendous sacrifices 
which the world is requiring from the mass of the people in each coun- 
try. It declares that because of their response in defence of principles of 



32 

freedom the peoples have earned the right to wipe out all vestiges of the 
old idea that the government belongs to or constitutes a "governing 
class." In determining issues that will vitally affect the lives and welfare 
of millions of wage-earners, justice required that they should have direct 
representation in the agencies authorised to make such decisions. The 
Conference, therefore, declares, in confirmation of the demand of the 
Inter- Allied Conference of 20/ 24th February, that: — 

1. In the official delegations from each of the belligerent countries 
which will formulate the Peace Treaty the workers should have direct 
official representation. 

2. A World Labour Congress shall be held at the same time and 
place as the Peace Conference that will formulate the Peace Treaty 
closing the war. 

The Conference further welcomes the declaration by the American 
Federation of Labour of the fundamental principles to be included in the 
Peace Treaty, as being in substantial agreement with those applied in 
detail in the Memorandum of War Aims of 20th-24th February appended 
hereto, and also with the 14 propositions of President Wilson, namely: — 

1. A league of the free peoples of the world in a common covenant 
for genuine and practical co-operation to secure justice, and, therefore, 
peace in relations between nations. 

2. No political or economic restrictions meant to benefit some 
nations and to cripple or embarrass others. 

3. No indemnities or reprisals based upon vindictive purposes, or 
deliberate desire to injure, but to right manifest wrongs. 

4. Recognition of the rights of small nations and of the principle, 
"No people must be forced under sovereignty under which it does not wish 
to^Jive." 

5. No territorial changes or adjustment of power except in further- 
ance of the welfare of the peoples affected and in furtherance of world 
peace. 

The Conference further expresses its general sympathy with the 
aspirations of the American Federation of Labour expressed in the follow- 
ing propositions which that Federation desires to see incorporated in the 
treaty which shall constitute the guide of nations in the new period and 
conditions into which we enter at the close of the war as being fundamen- 
tal to the best interests of all nations and of vital importance to wage- 
earners : — 

(<2) That in law and in practice the principle shall be recognised 
that the labour of a human being is not a commodity or article of 
commerce. 

(b) Involuntary servitude shall not exist except as a punish- 
ment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted. 

(c) The right of free association, free assemblage, free speech 
and free press shall not be abridged. 



33 

{d) That the seamen of the merchant marine shall be guaranteed 
the right of leaving their vessels when the same are in safe harbour. 

{e) No article or commodity shall be shipped or delivered in 
international commerce in the production of which children under 
the age of 16 years have been employed or permitted to work. 

(/) It shall be declared that the basic work day in industry and 
commerce shall not exceed eight hours per day. 

{g) Trial by jury should be established. 

The Conference notes that most of these aspirations find expression 
in general terms in the Memorandum of War Aims of 20th/ 24th 
February, whilst others — such as those relating to trial by jury and the 
restriction of the industrial employment of children under 16 — are not 
universally applicable in all countries, and require adaptation to the cir- 
cumstances of each nation. The Conference accordingly invites the 
special consideration of these aspirations by the Labour and Socialist 
Movements of the several allied nations. The Conference places special 
importance on paragraphs {a) and (c), which provide for an advanced 
conception of the right of the worker to complete self-control, and for the 
unabridged freedom of association and expression. 

In pursuance of the poHcy of the Memorandum of War Aims of 20-24 
February, the Conference declares its objection to all treaties and agree- 
ments purporting to bind nations, which have been or may be concluded 
by their Governments without immediate publicity and without Par- 
liamentary authority or ratification; and protests against the continua- 
tion for a single day of the present war for the purpose of obtaining any 
objects aimed at by any of the secret treaties or agreements which are not 
in accord with the 14 propositions of President Wilson or the Memoran- 
dum on War Aims appended hereto. 

The Conference, taking note of the declarations and replies made to 
the Memorandum on War Aims of 20-24th February by the Labour and 
Socialist movements of the several countries in alliance with the Central 
Powers, as summarised in the attached statement.* 

We are now able to examine the different documents which may be considered as 
indicating the position of the Labour and Socialist Parties of the Central Powers in 
relation to the Inter-Allied Memorandum — the Bulgarian, the Hungarian, the 
German-Austrian, and the German Socialist Majority — and herewith present a 
summary taken from the official organs of the several parties. 

First, Bulgaria. The Bulgarians accept the general principles of the Inter-Allied 
Memorandum, and make only one reservation, on the question of Macedonia. There 
is no real disagreement here, for the Inter-Allied Memorandum does not propose a 
final solution of the Macedonian question, but simply indicates a method of arriving 
at a solution. It may be said, therefore, that the general agreement between the 
Bulgarian document and the London Memorandum is almost complete. 

Secondly, Hungary. The Hungarian party, as is well known, owing to the 
reactionary electoral law, is not represented in Parliament. When the Hungarian 



♦The Inter- Allied Conference resolved that its conclusions should be transmitted 
to the Labour and Socialist Parties in the Central Empires, and from their replies the 
Neutral Committee would determine whether sufficient agreement existed to warrant 
them in convoking an International Conference. 



34 

Parliament met at the beginning of the war the party made two declarations: (a) 
that if they had been represented in Parliament they would have voted against war 
and all war credits; and {b) declared emphatically they would make no truce witn the 
Hungarian Government. In their Stockholm Memorandum, the most conciliatory of 
any of the statements made by the parties of the Central Powers, they accepted the 
general ideas of compulsory arbitration and disarmament, and they declared agamst 
economic war after military war. They declared in favour of Serbia having access to 
the sea; but they also pointed out that Hungary obviously would not allow itself to be 
cut off from the sea, which would thus create the very condition from which it desires 
to see Serbia relieved. On territorial questions the party accepted the formula, "No 
annexations, no indemnities," but deicared that on the question of reconstruction 
every country should pay the cost of reconstruction itself, with two exceptions: (1) 
Independent Belgium, which should be reconstructed at the expense of Germany, and 
(2) Independent Serbia, to be reconstructed by a general fund. On the question of 
Alsace-Lorraine, they desired first that there should be an understanding between 
the Socialist Parties of France and Germany, but held that if such an understanding 
is impossible for the time being, that fact ought not to serve as a pretext for the 
withdrawal of these parties from the International; still less as a pretext for prolong- 
ing the war. They also desired the Serbian and Bulgarian parties to come to a 
similar understanding on the question of Macedonia, and thought it possible on the 
bases of national unity and the federal organisation of all the Balkan States. In 
principle, they favour the complete reunion of Polish territories in a single inde- 
pendent State, and claim as a minimum the independence of Russian Poland — if tnat 
is the wish of the population; and for the other Pohsh territories they demand 
national liberty and the opportunity of free self-development. 

After reconsidering their Stockholm Memorandum, the Hungarians says that the 
resolutions of the I^ondon Conference are not opposed to their views, and it follows 
(they say) that they consider the resolutions of the London Conference, as well as 
the results of the Stockholm discussions, as a suitable basis for the immediate con- 
vocation of an International Conference, which they would gladly welcome; but 
they express the hope that the comrades in France, Britai i, and Germany will not 
bring forward demands calculated to prevent the International meeting. 

Thirdly, Austria. The German Social Democratic Party of Austria accept as a 
basis of discussion the London Memorandum, and agree with its general principles. 
Ihey point out that long before the Entente Socialists they advocated the ideas of a 
federal Austria, and that they have repudiated the Brest and Bucharest treaties. 
But they warn the other parties that it may be impossible to realise tne principles 
of International Socialism in the peace, and that the Socialist parties may therefore 
have to accept a peace which falls far short of the ideals of International Socialism. 
A compromise between the two belligerent groups, they argue, is the only alternative 
to a peace dictated by victor to vanquished; but if peace can only be obtained through 
the victory of one group over the other, the war will go on for years, and its terms 
would not be determined by the principles of democracy, but by the relative strength 
of the capitalist governments. To prolong the war would not mean the ultimate 
triumph of international principles: it is therefore the duty of the working-class 
parties to do all they can to ensjre that peace shall realise their ideals as far as 
practicable, and render possible the further development of those ideals after the 
war, but not to refuse a peace which does not completely realise international Socialist 
principles, because the peoples bleeding from a thousand wounds can not wait for 
peace until the working class has conquered political power and is able to achieve the 
triumph of those principles. 

Fourthly, Germany. The German Socialist Majority, through the Muller letter, 
signify their willingness to attend an International Conference, but do not accept the 
London proposals, and fail officially to accept even the Neutrals' proposals as a basis 
of discussion. The special point of view of the German Majority was explained in 
their Stockholm Memorandum, and a comparison of this document with the Neutrals 
proposals shows that they have made a small advance, if they are willing to accept 
the latter as a basis of discussion. They declare they have never considered the 
military map as the basis of negotiation, that they have always been in favour of 
negotiations in order to obtain a peace of conciliation, that they do not consider the 



35 

Brest treaty as representing their political views, and that they^do not regard the 
Eastern question as settled. 

It must be pointed out that Troelstra declared in an interview with the SwisS 
representative of "L'Humanite" that Schiedemann stated he had no objection to the 
Neutral Memorandum being accepted as a basis of discussion. Upon this point there 
is still some obscurity, and it would appear tnat if Schiedemann made this statement 
he or his colleagues in the Majority Party did not attach to it the significance it bore 
for us when we first heard of it. For it must be remembered that there is considerable 
agreement in principle between the Stockholm Neutrals' Memorandum and the 
London Memorandum, although the former does not apply the principle of self- 
determination with the same thoroughness. In both, the first point is the necessity 
of constituting a League of Nations, which implies compulsory arbitration, in order 
to reach general disarmament, and free trade in order to remove possible causes of 
conflict. On territorial questions, the Neutrals' proposals include the independence 
of Belgium, with restoration at the expense of Germany; the re-establishment of 
Serbia, with access to the sea; a plebiscite for Alsace-Lorraine; the independence of 
Armenia and of the former Russian provinces of Poland, with autonomy for Prussian 
and Austrian Poland; and the federal organisation of Austria and Russia. 

We thus find three of the parties in the Central Empires accept for the purpose 
of discussion at an International Conference the London Memorandum; and the 
fourth — the German Majority — seem inclined at least to consider the Stockholm 
Neutral proposals. 

1. Expresses its satisfaction with the repHes of the Bulgarian and 
Hungarian Socialists, and the German Social Democratic Party of 
Austria, in so far as they accept the decisions of the London Conference 
as the basis of discussion at an international meeting; and 

2. Expresses its deep regret that the reply of the German Majority — 
though their published letter expresses their willingness to attend an 
international — does not accept the London proposals, and fails officially 
to accept even the Neutrals' proposals as a basis of discussion. So long 
as these points remain unanswered they create an obstacle to the hold- 
ing of an International Conference. 

The Conference directs that the Commission to be appointed for this 
purpose shall, as soon as may be possible, draft and forward replies 
through the Press and other channels to the Labour and Socialist parties 
whose replies indicate a willingness to discuss the situation on the agreed 
basis, pointing out that the difficulty in the way of an immediate inter- 
national meeting is that the German response does not fulfil the condi- 
tions laid down by the Conference of 20-24th February, and urging them 
to use their influence to get the German attitude changed and also to 
send a considered reply to the German majority. 

Further, the Commission is instructed to continue, by methods of 
open discussion, to state the position of Allied Labour and Socialism in 
harmony with the decisions of Annual Conferences, Congresses, and 
Inter- Allied Conferences, including that of February 14th, 1915. 

Mr. Frky, in presenting the first three paragraphs, stated that the 
delegate from Servia dissented from the Commission's entire report on 
the ground that this was not a war between democratic and autocratic 
institutions, but rather a capitalistic struggle. He also held that the 
principles laid down by President Wilson in the 14 points were not 
satisfactory to Servia, and that there should be an immediate call for a 



36 

co-belligerent Conference. There were two questions which came before 
the Commission upon which the American Federation did not desire to 
act in Commission — one dealing with the question of the replies received 
from the workers' organisations of the Central Powers to the call for a 
Co-belligerent Conference, the other being the matter of passports. He 
moved the adoption of this portion of the report. Owing to the absence 
of French translations, the discussion was adjourned, and the Commis- 
sion on the International situation resumed its report. 

RUSSIA. 

Mr. Henderson said that the Commission had again "Considered the 
report on the Russian situation, and had come to a unanimous decision 
to recommend paragraphs 1 and 2, as printed in the report presented 
yesterday, and they asked him to read a new paragraph 3, as follows: — 

"The Conference is of opinion that in conformity with article 6 
of the 14 points of President Wilson, the present effort of the allied 
Governments to assist the Russian people must be influenced only by 
a genuine desire to preserve liberty and democracy in an ordered and 
durable world peace in which the beneficent fruits of the Revolution 
shall be made permanently secure." 

The latter paragraph had been reached, after very full considera- 
tion, with unanimity, except in the case of Serbia, and he moved it now 
to complete the Russian report. 

Mr. J. B. Williams (Great Britain) proposed that the question be 
now put. 

MM. LoNGUET and PopoviTch desired to give a short explanation of 
their position, but the Chairman ruled that the motion proposed by Mr. 
Williams must be put. 

On a show of hands the motion was carried by 25 as against 20 votes. 

M. JouHAux (France), in the name of the General Confederation of 
Labour, earnestly asked the Conference to consider how delicate their 
position was. He said that the fact that the meeting took place in London 
enabled the whole of the Parliamentary Committee of the Trades Union 
Congress and the Executive Committee of the Labour Party to be pres- 
ent, while other organisations could not be represented except by a 
smaller number of delegates, and he asked what was the real significa- 
tion of a vote taken under such conditions. Those who were willing to 
vote for the resolution, not having any means of expressing their inter- 
pretation or to declare their intentions, must either abstain from voting 
or vote against the resolution. 

The Chairman said M. Jouhaux had raised the whole question 
which was left unsolved at the beginning of the sittings, because they did 
not want to have majority votes, and he asked the delegates to continue 
in the same spirit of conciliation which inspired them in the beginning. 

Mr. GoMPERS said he had no objection to any procedure which might 
be adopted. He was not unwilling that the delegates should have time 



37 

and liberty to discuss every proposition, and he was willing for MM. 
Longuet and Popovitch to address the Conference; but he gave notice 
that if this was done, and these gentlemen expressed opinions with which 
the American Federation of Labour could not agree, they would want an 
opportunity to present their own views. 

Mr. J. B. Williams suggested that MM. Longuet and Popovitch 
be allowed five minutes each to explain their position. 

The Chairman explained that it was not possible now to discuss an 
alteration to the motion which had been adopted. He suggested that 
that after the vote had been taken MM. Longuet and Popovitch could 
explain the significance of their vote, if the Conference agreed. 

The Commission's resolution was agreed to by the Conference, the 
majority of the French delegates refusing to vote. 

M. Mistral (France) said that if the Conference had no other 
method of voting than the present one he and his friends would leave the 
hall. 

Mr. FrEy suggested that each country there represented should be 
given five votes, except in the case of a country being represented by 
less than five delegates, in which case the number of votes be equal to the 
number of delegates. 

M. Rknaudkl (France) supported M. Mistral. He said they must 
have a system of voting, and the simplest method was to adhere to the 
system used on former occasions, the American Federation of Labour 
being allowed 20 votes, the same as the largest countries there repre- 
sented. He hoped a permanent Committee would be established to or- 
ganise International Conferences, and who would propose a complete 
system of voting and method of procedure. 

Mr. FrEy said the American Federation of Labour delegates were 
perfectly willing to accept this suggestion. 

The motion proposed that each time there was an objection from 
any member of the Conference to the vote by show of hands, then the 
system applied for other Conferences, with the addition of 20 votes for 
America, will be enforced, was agreed to. 

PERMANENT INTER-ALLIED EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE- 

Mr. Henderson reported that the Commission unanimously recom- 
mended that the Conference should appoint an Executive Committee 
composed at most of two delegates from each country there represented. 
This Committee should supervise the execution of the resolutions of this 
Inter-Allied Conference and the organisation of subsequent Inter-Allied 
Conferences. 

M. BourdEron (France) proposed an amendment that the Confer- 
ence might express the desire that the next meeting should take place in 
France. 

The Chairman said this should be a separate motion. 



38 

Mr. Henderson said there was a suggestion that, as far as possible, 
the representatives to this Committee should be elected before this 
Conference closed by the representatives of the respective countries. 
Agreed. 

Mr. GoMPERS moved that, as the United States was more than 3,000 
miles away from England, France, and Italy, the group selecting the 
Committee of two have the power to name substitutes if the original 
appointees are unable to attend. Agreed. 

WAR AIMS. 

Discussion was then resumed on the first three paragraphs of the 
Report on "War Aims." 

Mr. J. W. Kneeshaw (Great Britain) offered strong opposition to 
this part of the report. He feared that unanimity on these proposals was 
absolutely impossible, and said that the phrasing and spirit of these para- 
graphs was entirely antagonistic to the views held by a number of the 
delegates present. They were bound to acknowledge that there was a 
fight going on between autocracy and democracy, but to suggest that the 
military conflict is likely to settle them was beside the mark. He said 
that the fight between autocracy and democracy must go in inside each 
country, and whatever the military settlement may be that conflict will 
be in much the same position as it is today. During the last four years 
they had been told that it was mainly for the purpose of resisting the 
German occupation of Belgium and restoring Belgian independence. 
On the 5th August, for the first time, Mr. Lloyd George, declared in the 
House of Commons that they went to fight for an entirely different rea- 
son — because of some secret compact with France, of which he gave 
neither contents nor the date. When they knew all the details they might 
find that even if France herself had invaded Belgium they were still 
bound by that compact to enter this war, and that the secret treaties of 
the allied Governments made it perfectly clear that the purpose of the 
allied Governments in this war was precisely the same in character as 
the Governments of the Central Powers. He concluded by saying that 
there were some of them who could not agree in any way with the first 
three paragraphs of the report. 

Mr. Sidney Webb (Great Britain) said that no section could get the 
wording precisely as desired, and they had to accept the wording on which 
they could get common agreement. The Committee had spent nearly 
eight hours in order to get a unanimous report, and they had got such a 
report, with the exception of their Serbian comrade. Mr. Kneeshaw 
would not take it unfriendly if he called his a pacifist speech, and it ought 
to be clear to the Conference that it was not spoken for the British dele- 
gation. The main question was whether the Conference declared its 
support of the continuance of the war or whether it did not. The resolu- 
tion meant that the Conference gave its unyielding support to the con- 
tinuation of the war, and therefore supported the allied Governments. 

Mr. J. H. Thomas (Great Britain) took a much stronger view of Mr. 
Kneeshaw's speech. He thought it a most unfortunate speech, calculated 



39 

not only to prejudice the position of the Conference in the eyes of the - 
world, but that it might also be taken as representing British Labour, 
whereas it did nothing of the kind. British Labour had stood, and stood 
today, against secret treaties as much as any minority in the Conference, 
but so far as the overwhelming mass of the working classes of this coun- 
try were concerned it did not, and he hoped never would, support the 
country for Imperialistic aims. With regard to the statement that there 
was no difference in the intentions of either side, he pointed to the cold, 
hard fact that we were not prepared for war and Germany was. If it 
had not come four years ago in the way it did Germany would have 
manufactured some other excuse. That was the view not only of the 
great majority so far as the British delegation in that Conference was 
concerned, but it was certainly the opinion of organised Labour which 
was recently expressed at Derby, where 4,500,000 workers were repre- 
sented and were unanimous. He hoped no capital would be made of a 
speech which may be misinterpreted abroad, but which must not be held 
as representing the views of British Labour. 

The Conference then adjourned. 

AFTERNOON SESSION. 

Mr. Frey referred to the sentiments that were expressed by one of 
the delegates on the Committee's Report, firstly because of the danger 
that lay in the analysis which he endeavoured to present, and secondly 
because of the importance of their understanding just what was intended 
by the language of the Report. He wished to call attention to the funda- 
mental and vital error of those who merely scanned the surface instead of 
going down to basic principles, and who were guided by symptoms rather 
than principles. It was very necessary when a Conference was deter- 
mining on a statement that it should not mistake symptoms for causes 
It mattered not what an individual might have said as to the cause of the 
war ; what was wanted was that the Conference should acknowledge the 
fact that in this contest the existence of autocratic and democratic in- 
stitutions was at stake. So far as the Conference was concerned, as 
representing the wage earners, it stood for the necessary protection and 
defence of democracy. 

Mr. Sexton said he would be satisfied with nothing less than a de- 
nunciation of Mr. Kneeshaw's speech. It had been referred to as a 
pacifist speech; to his mind it was most treacherous. Mr. Kneeshaw 
represented a section of the British Labour and Socialist Movement 
which numbered only 40,000 people out of 4,500,000, and he (Mr. 
Sexton) did not know how these people dared to assume the right of 
speaking on behalf of the Trade Union and Labour Movement against 
publicly expressed convictions. 

M. Thomas stated that when war broke out there was a unanimous 
conviction in the Laboi^r world of France, as well as in every other sec- 
tion, that the fight was for a just cause, that they were fighting for the 
freedom and independence of the country against a deadly menace, and 
that feeling still remained. It was the duty of the Conference not to let 



40 

certain legends take shape which would tend to demoralise the men who 
were fighting for their countries. 

M. Mistral (France) stated that the controversy which had taken 
place showed how complex was the problem of the origin of the war. 
Though the text of the resolutions might differ somewhat in certain 
points, that did not mean that there was intentional contradiction. One 
must not be taken to the exclusion of the other. He and his colleagues 
had accepted the resolution because they did not think so much of the 
past as of the present and future. They agreed as regards the spirit of 
the resolutions whatever the differences in form there might be, their 
aims and intentions were the same, and they felt that it was a great support 
for them to have with them the great and powerful American democracy 
and its trusted President. 

Mr. Shirkik (Great Britain) referring to Mr. Kneeshaw's speech, 
said there was a request from the hall that a certain statement Mr. Knee- 
shaw made should be proved. He asked that Mr. Kneeshaw should prove 
what he had said about Mr. Lloyd George contradicting the original 
reason for our going to war. 

The Chairman stated that it was customary — the Continental 
method at any rate — that if any personal question arose which involved 
special responsibility for one person, that he should be entitled to speak 
if he thinks fit. 

Mr. Kneeshaw accepted the challenge, and referred Mr. Shirkie to 
"Hansard" of August 7th to substantiate his statement regarding Mr. 
Lloyd George's speech. 

Mr. MaxTon (Great Britain) then raised the point again as to what 
we were fighting for, and stated that it was a war between capitalist and 
capitalists. He invited the American delegation to go to Scotland and try 
to convince the people that it was a war for free institutions. 

M. RosETTi (Italy) stated that Italy had not been invaded when she 
entered into the war, but had been the victim of aggression for years. 
Reference had been made to reaction in the war in Great Britain and 
other countries; this also applied to Italy. They did not deny that they 
were living under a capitalist regime, but the fact that capitalism existed 
must not make them blind to the great benefits of democracy. They had 
been submitted to foreign tyranny. Capitalist Governments might have 
their own reasons for not being too hard against such a system of gov- 
ernment as that of the Russian Empire, but there could be no reason why 
the democrats of the world should not attempt its defeat. 

Mr. GoMPERS rose to accept the challenge of Mr. Maxton. He re- 
ferred to the challenge that he should go to Scotland. He had been to 
Edinburgh, and the hall was filled to the fullest extent. He and his 
associates delivered addresses upon what they believed to be the war 
situation, and did not hesitate to present fully and frankly the American 
Labour position and the position of the American people and their 
Government upon the war issue. He and his associates were accorded a 
unanimous vote from the meeting. The president of the Edinburgh 



41 

Trades Council with other officers were on the platform, and the presi- 
dent moved a vote of thanks which was accorded to them for the pre- 
sentation of their position. He asked what would be the consequences 
to the democracies of Great Britain, France, and the United States, what 
the opportunities for the Labour Movement of these countries would be 
if it were possible 'for Germany to win. Since he and his associates had 
been in Great Britain they had expressed their views freely, without 
attempting to criticise the Labour Movements of England or Scotland 
or Wales, and they should continue to present their views, notwithstand- 
ing criticism to the contrary. The American people were determined 
that they are not going to permit this menace of militarism and autoc- 
racy to overwhelm the world, and they recognised that this was the only 
opportunity they would have of working out their own salvation and 
their own destiny. The Government of their country was in entire 
accord with the trend of the work and the understanding of the Labour 
Movement. They stood upon their rights as workers and as citizens, and 
had confidence in the integrity and high purpose in the control of their 
Government. They wanted to stand unitedly behind the Allies, and were 
going to fight with them until the end, until democracy and opportunity 
for emancipation were assured. 

The vote upon the first three paragraphs of the report was then 
agreed to without a dissentient. 

Discussing the fourth paragraph and the reference to President 
Wilson's 14 points, M. Cachin said he accepted the fifth point, that 
relating to the question of Colonies, as most reasonable, but he could not 
refrain from pointing out that the various projects brought up in 
England with regard to colonial matters stood in direct opposition to this 
proposition. While he has no wish to interfere with the internal politics 
of England, he felt it right to call attention to these projects, which were, 
to his mind, full of danger, in order that their English comrades might 
take such action as lie in their power with their Government. He was 
confident that they would use their influence to get any projects, which 
were in opposition to the fifth proposition, withdrawn, or at any rate, 
not carried out. 

M. PoPOViTCH (Servia) said he did not find the 14 propositions of 
President Wilson quite so irreproachable as had been suggested. Great 
injustice had been done to Servia in prohibiting the importation of food. 
This policy might have been adopted with the idea that Austria would 
confiscate the food. That was not the case, however, and he desired the 
Conference to express its desire that the prohibition of the importation 
of food should be removed. 

The Chairman then put the adoption of this portion of the Com- 
mittee's report, and it was agreed to. 

Discussing the proposals respecting Labour's participation in the 
Peace Conference. 

M. Vandkrvelde reminded the delegates that at the last Confer- 
ence the same proposal was accompanied by the appointment of Messrs. 



42 

Henderson, Albert Thomas, and himself to approach the various Gov- 
ernments to urge that there should be representatives of the working 
class as delegates at the Peace Conference. He assumed that the present 
Conference would also be unanimously of the same opinion, he suggested 
that a representative of the American Federation of Labour should be 
added to the previous Committee of three. 

This portion of the report, together with M. Vandervelde's pro- 
posal, was then agreed to. 

Discussing the paragraphs relating to the replies from the Socialist 
and Labour organisations of the Central Powers. 

M. RhnaudEL suggested that the text of the original documents 
should be published in the report of the Conference, and this was agreed 
to unanimously. 

M. BouRDERON (France) drew attention to recommendation 2, re- 
ferring to the reply of the German Majority, and suggested that another 
word be substituted for "obstacle." 

M. LoNGUET supported the amendment brought forward by M. 
Bourderon. He stated that they had a belief in the International as 
Socialist and Labour men, and for the sake of their country they wanted 
the International to use its influence to end the war as soon as possible. 
He referred to the tremendous sacrifices France had made, and com- 
mented upon the various occasions for securing peace that had been 
missed through the Imperialist designs of the French Government. 

M. RenaudEE stated that the French Party as a whole — with the 
exception of a very small minority, who were still opposed to an Inter- 
national Conference under any circumstances — were sincerely convinced 
that they must give their support to the International. He was ready 
to accept the wording of the resolution proposed, but to substitute the 
word ' ' difficulty' ' f or " obstacle. ' ' He criticised the estimate of the French 
casualties quoted by M. Longuet as being much exaggerated. If an 
International Conference was held they must go fully armed with their 
whole might. Whether the Commissions were plenary Commissions or 
not, he would not be afraid to go to the International. Even if all the 
suggested conditions were not fulfilled he would still be prepared to 
attend. 

Mr. Henderson said the speech of M. Longuet made it absolutely 
impossible for him to remain silent. That speech and other speeches had 
raised the entire issue that was discussed, and which he thought had been 
settled at the Inter- Allied Conference last February. What was that 
issue? It was the choice between a conditional and an unconditional 
Conference. What were the conditions of Allied Labour and Socialism 
at their last Conference — conditions which Longuet himself and both the 
French Majority and Minority were parties to? An essential to any 
International Conference was that all the parties to be represented 
shall publicly declare their war aims in conformity with certain funda- 
mental principles — principles which could not be compromised. He 
asked the Conference, he wished to ask Longuet, if they thought the con- 



43 

ditions of the February Conference had been fulfilled? He gave two 
illustrations in order to prove that they had not been fulfilled. First, 
in regard to Belgium, did Longuet wish to persuade the Conference, or 
did he wish to persuade the Belgian people that the conditions of Febru- 
ary had been fulfilled so far as Belgium was concerned? The foremost 
condition of peace was reparation to Belgium by the German Govern- 
ment. Could M. Longuet show him one single word in the name of 
the German Government, or in the name of the Majority Socialists 
where that had been accepted. Secondly, he wanted to ask Longuet 
whether, in his opinion, the conditions had been fulfilled as regards 
Alsace-Lorraine. The February Conference declared that the problem 
of Alsace-Lorraine was not one of territorial aggrandisement, but one of 
right. Has that been recognised? Does M. Longuet want to tell the 
French people that that right has been recognised by the Majority 
Socialists? On the contrary, the German Socialists denounced any idea 
of restoring Alsace-Lorraine to France. The fact that none of these 
conditions have been complied with makes it absolutely impossible for 
them to have their proposition further weakened. If M. Longuet wanted 
an unconditional Conference he might have it, but it would be without 
British Labour. 

Continuing, Mr. Henderson said he had desired to have a Confer- 
ence. He had worked for a Conference, and had sacrificed for that Con- 
ference, but it was for no unconditional Conference which would result 
in a compromised peace. He was not going to sacrifice world democracy, 
and therefore asked the Conference to stand where it stood in Febru- 
ary. Any attempt to have a Conference on any other condition would 
receive the hostile opposition of British Labour. He believed the situa- 
tion at that moment was very delicate, and that they were moving in the 
direction of Peace, but he was conscientiously of opinion that any mis- 
take in that resolution would not expedite Peace, certainly would not 
expedite that honourable, durable, democratic peace, that World Peace 
already accepted in the first recommendations of the report. They should 
stand together to make Democracy in the world safe for ever. 

Mr. GoMPERS asked whether the replies should be pubhshed without 
any introduction or comment, and this was answered in the affirmative. 
He then proceeded to submit a substitute for the proposition under 
consideration. He proposed : — 

"That we will meet in Conference with those only of the Central 

Powers who are in open revolt against their autocratic governors." 

M. VandERVELDE opposed the amendment of Bourderon to replace 
the word "obstacle" by "difficulty," because, in his opinion, those who 
proposed such amendments were seeking to bring them gradually to re- 
gard most of the conditions in the Memorandum as being really without 
any serious importance. This method had no other object than to make 
their Memorandum a "Scrap of Paper." He had previously adhered to 
the idea that the International should be convened on certain conditions, 
but there was a tendency to forget these conditions. It was laid down 
that the great principles they had accepted should be accepted by those 



44 

who wanted to meet them in such a Conference. M. Vandervelde read 
the conditions laid down in the Memorandum, and asked whether those 
who had followed the history of the last few months could honestly say 
that the Germans had fulfilled these conditions. He said most emphati- 
cally that they had not done so. He referred to a recent interview given 
by Ebert, of the German Majority Party, speaking as he said in a spirit 
of conciliation and in the name of a comparatively moderate section of 
the party. Ebert, in answer to a question, had said that Belgium could 
continue to exist as a nation, but must not expect any compensation. 
Ebert also said that the question of Alsace-Lorraine could not and must 
not be reopened. Vandervelde then commented on the action of the 
German Socialists at the time of the Brest-Litovsk Treaty. Russian 
democracy was helpless, prostrate, in agony under the heel of the con- 
queror. Germany was ready to impose a shameful peace, and the Ger- 
man Socialists played the part of Pontius Pilate, and abstained. So long 
as the German Socialists refuse to accept their elementary conditions, 
the word "difficulty" must not be used; they must use the word "im- 
possibility." Faith in the International was his faith; he had proved it 
on many occasions before, and it was his warmest desire to see the 
International reconstituted. A meeting of the International could be 
imagined in two different ways — the Majority and Minority Socialist 
Parties of different countries might take their Memorandum, and on 
that basis reach some sort of conclusion after much haggling, so that a. 
part of what so many millions of men had died for would be sold, in the 
hope of arriving at a bargain for an immediate peace. On the other 
hand, they might put their claims fully and unreservedly before the 
democracy of Germany until the German Majority had realised that vic- 
tory was on our side. They should deface not essential principles, but so 
act that the German Majority might make them theirs. So long as the 
German Majority Socialists remain the agents, the accomplices, and 
the slaves of their Government the Conference must not say that there 
is a "difficulty" about meeting them ; it must say that it is impossible. 

M. VercELLONI (Italy) hoped that every delegate would make it his 
business to make the document finally adopted by the Conference some- 
thing more than a " scrap of paper." Citizen Longuet had spoken of the 
great sacrifices made by France. They in Italy had also had their losses. 
The privations of the Italian people were very great, but they suffered 
bravely, and the overwhelming majority of the Italian nation were 
willing to continue suffering until a just and lasting peace was obtained. 

M. D. PoPOViTCH (Serbia) thought the nationalist jingoistic atti- 
tude of the Bulgarian Socialists ought not to be considered as a very 
grave obstacle to a general conversation. The real obstacle might be 
the attitude of the German Majority Socialists, but if they were to wait 
until they received a satisfactory answer from them, such as had been 
indicated at the present Conference, then there was every likelihood that 
they would have peace without having had an International Confer- 
ence. They had received many other answers that could be considered 
satisfactory. If in a meeting of the International the German Majority 
Socialists remained alone in front of the whole of the International, then 



45 

so much the worse for them. If they, however, consented to agree with 
the International, then so much the better for the cause of peace. He 
thought, as a matter of fact, that the German SociaHsts did not really 
represent the majority of the workers in Germany, but that the Minority 
Socialists were more representative there. 

M. Mistral (France) was of the opinion that too much passion had 
been imported into the debates, and when someone said something too 
strong oil one side another person thought it necessary to say something 
just as strong on the other side. Citizen Vandervelde authorised him to 
say that, while he was not willing to abandon one point of the Memoran- 
dum, he did not wish to add anything to it, and he remained faithful to it 
without the amendment suggested by citizen Gompers. The conditions 
of a meeting of the International had been much spoken about, but they 
did not speak of any conditions when the question of going to Stockholm 
was raised. The Governments then were only willing to support those 
who declared themselves in favour of a conditional meeting of the Inter- 
national. Kerensky could tell them whether that attitude and its conse- 
quences were beneficial to the cause of Labour and to the cause of Rus- 
sian democracy. They remained faithful to the Memorandum as adopted 
in February, but they must not push it further than it was meant to go. 

The amendment proposed by Mr. Gompers was then put to the 
vote, which the Chairman declared would be by nationality. 
Against the amendment: — 

Great Britain 20 

France 20 

Italy (Italian Socialist Union) 3 

Belgium 12 

Serbia 4 

Greece.. 4 

63 
For the amendment: — 

United States 20 

Italy (Italian Union of Labour) 3 

Canada 3 

26 
The Chairman then put to the vote M. Bourderon's amendment 
that the word "difficulty" should be substituted in paragraph 2 for the 
word "obstacle." 

Against the amendment : — 

Great Britain 20 

United States 20 

Italy 7 

Canada 3 

Belgium 12 

France ^ 

65 



46 

For the amendment: — 

France 1 7 

Greece 4 

Serbia 4 

25 
The complete text was then put to the vote, with the following 



result : — 



FOR. 

Italy 7 

Belgium — 12 

France. 18 

Great Britain ....-:. 20 



AGAINST. 

Serbia 4 

Greece 4 

France .— 2 

10 



57 
The United States and Canada abstained from voting. 

REFUSAL OF PASSPORTS. 

M. RivKLU (France) spoke in support of the following resolu- 
tion : — 

"The Conference, in view of the refusal of the Governments to 
afford passport facilities to the properly elected representatives of 
organised Labour, condemns the policy of the Governments, and 
declares that the continuance of such policy is bound to lead to an 
acceptance of the Governments' challenge by the organised Labour 
movement. 

"The Conference warns the Governments that the patience of 
the organised working people is rapidly becoming exhausted by the 
continued affronts which are thus offered." 

[The American delegation reserves its opinion upon this resolution.] 
He referred the Conference to paragraph {c) in the report just adopted, 
referring to the right of free association, free assemblage, free speech, 
and a free Press. He said that if the English seamen persisted in refus- 
ing to transport elected delegates beyond the seas they would be oppos- 
ing and preventing the exercise of these rights, which had been declared 
so important. He, therefore, made an appeal to English Trade Unionists 
to endeavour to get the English seamen to withdraw their embargo and 
fall into line with France, who believed in the right of free association. 

M. HUYSMANS (Belgium) reminded the Conference that this was 
not a matter to be taken lightly. In February last he was one of the 
delegates named to proceed to America, but he was stopped by an or- 
ganisation affiliated to the Trades Union Congress. Either he was un- 
worthy to represent the Conference or he was not. If he was, and his 
election indicated as much, then it was an insult to the Conference that 
he should be prevented from fulfilling his duty. He was surprised that a 
body representing over four million Trade Unionists had taken no action. 
Such a thing would not be tolerated on the Continent. He hoped that 
attention having been drawn to the matter each member of the Con- 
ference would appreciate his responsibility and act accordingly. 



47 

The Chairman pointed out that the special point raised by M. 
Rivelli, and referred to by M. Huysmans, could be taken either as a 
separate motion or as an amendment to the resolution. 

Opposition being expressed to its being received as an amendment to 
the resolution, the Chairman suggested it should be treated as a motion 
to be sent to the Bureau for consideration. 

Mr. J. B. Williams (Great Britain) pointed out that M. Huysmans' 
statement showed that it was not the Government that prevented him 
from leaving the country, but the action of a Trade Union, whereas the 
resolution referred to the action of the Governments. 

M. Renaudel, while accepting the suggestion that the motion 
should go before the Bureau, said it was a matter that concerned the 
British organisations themselves. 

The Chairman agreed that it was a matter of internal discipline for 
the country concerned. 

M. LonguET thought it ought to be noted that it was the represen- 
tative of the sailors in France who had raised this special point. 

THE RESOLUTION OF THE COMMISSION 

was then put to the vote and adopted, the Chairman intimating that the 
American delegation abstained from expressing any opinion or voting. 

The Chairman announced that another resolution had been put in, 
reading as follows : — 

"In view of the recognition accorded to the Poles and Finns 
within the International, the Conference decides to extend the same 
treatment to the Tcheckoslovaks and Jugoslavs, who have unani- 
mously and solemnly claimed to be united in independent and 
unitary States." 
This resolution would have to be sent to the Bureau. 

The Conference had also received a telegram from the Russian dele- 
gates, who had not arrived, and it was now proposed that this telegram 
should be sent to the Bureau for consideraion. 

Mr. FrEy said that the Commission's report having been discussed 
in its entirety, he wanted to move the adoption of the Committee's report 
as a whole. 

The Committee's report was adopted. 

Mr. Webb referred to the decision to nominate an International 
Committee, but it was left for each nation to elect its representatives 
later. 

The Chairman said that, after so many speeches, he would not, at 
the close of the Conference proceedings, burden the delegates with 
another speech. He thought he was justified in remarking that while 
some differences of opinion had manifested themselves— which was only 
natural among delegates from various nations— a certain rapprochement 
had been obtained, and that the labours of the Conference had not been 
in vam. 

The Conference then terminated. 



48 



APPENDIX 



Proposals of American Federation of Labor Delegates to Inter-Allied 
Labor Conference, London, September 17, 18, 19, 20, 1918 

We recognize in this world war the conflict between autocratic and 
democratic institutions; the contest between the principles of self- 
development through free institutions and that of arbitrary control of 
government by groups or individuals for selfish ends. 

It is therefore essential that the peoples and the governments of all 
countries should have a full and definite knowledge of the spirit and 
determination of this Inter-allied Conference, representative of the 
workers of our respective countries, with reference to the prosecution 
of the war. 

We declare it to be our unqualified determination to do all that lies 
within our power to assist our allied countries in the marshalling of all 
of their resources to the end that the armed forces of the Central Powers 
may be driven from the soil of the nations which they have invaded 
and now occupy; and, furthermore, that these armed forces shall be 
opposed so long as they carry out the orders or respond to the control 
of the militaristic autocratic governments of the Central Powers which 
now threaten the existence of all self-governing people. 

This conference endorses the fourteen points laid down by President 
Wilson as conditions upon which peace between the belligerent nations 
may be established and maintained, as follows : 

(1) 

Open covenants of peace openly arrived at, after which there shall 
be no private international understandings of any kind, but diplomacy 
shall proceed always frankly and in the public view. 

(2) 

Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas outside territorial 
waters alike in peace and in war, except as the seas may be closed in 
whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of interna- 
tional covenants. 

(3) 

The removal, so far as possible, of all economic barriers and the 
establishment of an equality of trade conditions among all the nations 
consenting to peace and associating itself for its maintenance. 

(4) 

Adequate guarantees, given and taken, that national armaments will 
be reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety. 



49 

(5) 
A free, open-minded, and absolutely impartial adjustment of all 
•colonial claims, based upon a strict observance of the principle that in de- 
termining all such questions of sovereignty the interests of the popula- 
tions concerned must have equal weight with the equitable claims of the 
government whose title is to be determined. 

(6) 

The evacuation of all Russian territory, and such a settlement of all 
questions affecting Russia as will secure the best and freest cooperation of 
the other nations of the world in obtaining for her an unhampered and 
unembarrassed opportunity for the independent determination of her 
own political development and national policy, and assure her of a 
sincere welcome into the society of free nations under institutions of her 
own choosing ; and more than a welcome assistance also of every kind that 
she may need and may herself desire. 

The treatment accorded Russia by her sister nations in the months 
to come will be the acid test of their goodwill, of their comprehension of 
her needs, as distinguished from their own interests, and of their intelli- 
gent and unselfish sympathy. 

(7) 

Belgium, the whole world will agree, must be evacuated and 
restored without any attempt to limit the sovereignty which she enjoys 
in common with all other free nations. No other single act will serve, as 
this will serve, to restore confidence among the nations in the laws which 
they have themselves set and determined for the government of their 
relations with one another. Without this healing act the whole structure 
and validity of international law is forever impaired. 

(8) 
All French territory should be freed and the invaded portions 
restored, and the wrong done to France by Prussia in 1871 in the matter 
of Alsace-Lorraine, which has unsettled the peace of the world for nearly 
fifty years, should be righted in order that peace may once more be made 
secure in the interest of all. 

(9) 

A readjustment of the frontiers of Italy should be effected along 
clearly recognizable lines of nationality. 

(10) 
The peoples of Austria-Hungary, whose place among the nations 
we wish to see safeguarded and assured, should be accorded the first 
opportunity of autonomous development. 

(11) 
Rumania, Serbia, and Montenegro should be evacuated, the occu- 
pied territories restored, Serbia accorded free and secure access to the sea, 
and the relations of the several Balkan States to one another determined 



50 

by friendly counsel along historically established lines of allegiance and 
nationality, and international guarantees of the political and economic 
independence and territorial integrity of the several Balkan States should 
be entered into. 

(12) 

The Turkish portions of the present Ottoman Empire should be 
assured a secure sovereignty, but the other nationalities which are now 
under Turkish rule should be assured an undoubted security of life and an 
absolutely unmolested opportunity of autonomous development, and the 
Dardanelles should be permanently opened as a free passage to the ships 
and commerce of all nations under international guarantees. 

(13) 

An independent Polish State should be erected, which should include 
the territories inhabited by indisputabty Pohsh populations, which 
should be assured a free and secure access to the sea, and whose political 
and economic independence and territorial integrity should be guaranteed 
by international covenant. 

(14) 

A general association of nations must be formed under specific 
covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political 
independence and territorial integrity to great and small States alike. 

We declare that the following essentially fundamental principles 
must underlie the Peace Treaty : 

A league of the free peoples of the world in a common covenant for 
genuine and practical cooperation to secure justice and therefore peace in 
relations between nations. 

No political or economic restrictions meant to benefit some nations 
and to cripple or embarrass others. 

No reprisals based upon purely vindictive purposes, or deliberate 
desire to injure, but to right manifest wrongs. 

Recognition of the rights of small nations and of the principle, "No 
people must be forced under sovereignty under which it does not wish to 
live." 

No territorial changes or adjustment of power except in furtherance 
of the welfare of the peoples affected and in furtherance of world peace. 

In addition to these basic principles there should be incorporated in 
the treaty which shall constitute the guide of nations in the new period 
and conditions into which we enter at the close of the war, the following 
declarations fundamental to the best interests of all nations and of vital 
importance to wage-earners: 

That in law and in practice the principle shall be recognized that the 
labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce. 

Involuntary serAdtude shall not exist except as a punishment for 
crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted. 

The right of free association, free assemblage, free speech and free 
press shall not be abridged. 

That the seamen of the merchant marine shall be guaranteed the 
right of leaving their vessels when the same are in safe harbor. 



51 

No article or commodity shall be shipped or delivered in interna- 
tional commerce in the production of which children under the age of 16 
years have been employed or permitted to work. 

It shall be declared that the basic workday in industry and com- 
merce shall not exceed eight hours per day. 
Trial by jury should be established. 

Samuel Gompers, 
John P. Frey, 
Charles L. Baine, 
William A. Bowen, 
Edgar Wallace, 

Delegates. 

The world is requiring tremendous sacrifices of all the peoples. 
Because of their response in defence of principles of freedom the peoples 
have earned the right to wipe out all vestiges of the old idea that the 
government belongs to or constitutes a "governing class." In deter- 
mining issues that will vitally affect the lives and welfare of millions of 
wage-earners, justice requires that they should have direct representation 
in the agencies authorized to make such decisions. We therefore declare 
that— 

In the official delegations from each of the belligerent countries 
which will formulate the Peace Treaty, the workers should have direct 
official representation : 

We declare in favor of a World Labor Congress to be held at the 
same time and place as the Peace Conference that will formulate the 
Peace Treaty closing the war. 



T^ARY OF CONGRESS 



020 934 734 9