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THE FRENCH SOCIALISTS AND THE BOLSHEVIKI.

The political party which claims to represent French labor has indorsed Bosnevism; strong influences are at work within the Confederation Generale du Travail working in the same direction. The French anti-war fanatics and pro-Bolshevists practically obtained control of the French Socialist party at the end of last July. At that time and up until the very day of German defeat the slogan was "Peace without victory" and a compromise with German Kaiserism and militarism. At the national congress of the party in October their control was reaffirmed, and the official party organ passed from the hands of the so-called pro-war politician Renaudel into the hands of the antiwar politician Longuet, the grandson of Karl Marx.

In spite of all that the French Socialist Party could do to prevent it, the war was continued until the German defeat, which brought with it the German revolution. Did the Socialists then confess their tremendous blunder or wrong? Not in the least. On the contrary, they claimed that Germany was not defeated by the valiant and heroic armies of the world's democracies, but by an impending German revolution, due to the Soviet agitation in that country. They took the armistice as a sign of the failure of democratic internationalism and the victory of Soviet internationalism. The armistice had not been signed three days when the executive committee of the French Socialist Party met and passed the following amazing resolutions: "The French Socialist Party welcomes the German Republic and the taking over of the power in Prussia and the Confederated States by the working class.

"As in the Russia of the Soviets, Socialism has appeared in all central Europe as the proper liquidator of the political and social situation left by the war.

The party thus sees justified the confidence which it has always had in the action of peoples.'

Considering that certain of the conditions of the armistice leave the sharply defined fear that the allied Governments have the intention of further extending the criminal military intervention against revolutionary Russia, the party declares that it will appeal to all the forces of the French proletariat to prevent the socialism which is being born in Russia. as well as in Germany and Austria, from being crushed by coalitions of foreign capitalisms.

"The party urges the French working people most rigorously to rally to the support of their unions and socialist groups, to sustain their class journals, and to keep themselves ready to make socialism triumph in France as it has in the other countries of Europe.

This resolution, which betrays not only France but also the democratic league of nations now in process of formation at Versailles is as remarkable for what it says as what it omits to say. The only revolution it recognizes in Russia is the counter revolution by which the Bolsheviks overthrew the democratic government of Kerensky and by force of arms dissolved the constitutional assembly. It is assumed that the new government of Germany will be of a similar character and it is demanded that the socialist minority, representing less than 25 per cent of the French people, should bring about a soviet revolution in France.

All the achievements of the democratic revolutions of the past in France, America. and England are ignored or perverted. It is held that there is precisely the same need for revolutions in those countries as there was in Russia and in Germany when the Czar and Kaiser were thrown out. There never was such a thing as a Declaration of Independence, or a French declaration of the rights of man. The universal suffrage of France, England and the United States is ignored as if it had never existed. The growing power of labor in America, as well as in France and England, is implicitly denied. The assumption is that labor and the masses generally are in the same position in the world's great democracies to-day as they were under the Kaiser and the Czar.

If this is not treason to democracy and treason to internationalism, then we would better take the word "treason" out of the dictionary.

Since the peace conference is being held in France, the French situation has a new importance, and deserves close attention. While the Longuet faction controls the party there is a strong opposition and the party is split down the middle, but unfortunately politicians are almost as common in the so-called prowar opposition as they are in the controlling pacifist element. It is especially unfortunate that even the most able and honorable Socialist leader, Albert Thomas, formerly minister of munitions, signed the Renaudel resolution. Cachin, formerly a strong prowar man, has now become the editor of "L'Humanite," under the thumb of Longuet. Other leaders of the prowar faction like Sambat, formerly a member of the war cabinet, are still less reliable. Even the group of 40, composed of Socialist members of the Chamber of Deputies, who opposed the war under the leadership of Varenne and Compere-Morel, are apparently tied hard and fast to the principle of "party unity."

It is under this banner of party unity that the politicians have flourished. The party is obviously divided not into two, but into many groups of politicians who change their position from day to day. But it is always possible to justify any position whatever under the pretext of party unity-"my party, right or wrong," and party unity implies absolutely blind and unthinking support of the Socialist International. Thus, loyalty to this "International" replaces loyalty to labor. The Socialist International, as we see in Longuet's resolution, is now in control of the Russian and German Governments, and the French Socialists accept the leadership of these enemies of the common cause of freedom, justice, and democracy.

The last hope of the French working class is with the Confederation Generale du Travail. Jouhaux, the Secretary of the Confederation, who partly followed Longuet against the American Federation of Labor at the interallied 'conference of London, in September, now shows some signs of suffering from an overdose of this Bolshevism. He has recently issued a scathing denunciation of revolutionary phrases, appealing for a positive program of reconstruction.

Further evidence of a return of wholesome common sense and of a sound labor instinct is given by a proclamation issued jointly by the Confederation General du Travail and the Socialist party during the armistice negotiations. This proclamation originated with the prowar wing of the Socialist party and the Confederation General du Travail. It was adopted by the whole party, however, and then by another important political organization called the Union Republicaine.

Here is the importance of this resolution. It developed for the first time in several months a cooperation between labor organizations and other honest and radical democratic elements. But an even greater significance arises from the fact that merely because the Union Republicaine-a non-Socialist organization-signed the manifesto, the Socialist party met and the pacifist wing obliged it to pass a resolution attempting to withdraw the proclamation. However, the Confédération Général du Travail refused to join in the withdrawal and the manifesto was posted all throughout France. This proclamation has a high value as showing the attitude of the Confédération Général du Travail on peace terms. We, therefore, reproduce some of its important statements:

"The organizations which represent the most active forces of labor and democracy declare their entire agreement with the fundamentals formulated two years ago and the acts accomplished in the last fortnight by President Wilson. To employ the expression of the Confédération Générale du Travail, we declare that he has formulated the guarantees necessary to bring to the allied countries 'the certainty that the injuries which have been done shall be repaired, that the peoples at present subject to the law of force shall be liberated, that the possibilities of a fresh war shall be definitely eliminated.'

"This conception, common to our democracy, which has arisen from the French Revolution, and to President Wilson, excludes all ideas of conquest and annexation as it rejects any peace by the abandonment of justice.'

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The pro-Bolshevik element in control of the Socialist party wished to withdraw this proclamation. They have never dared to make open attack on President Wilson or to repudiate him in any important feature. They profess, hypocritically, to follow him. But at the same time they conduct a ceaseless agitation in favor of the Russian Soviets and of a Soviet revolution in France! They are fully aware that Mr. Wilson has personally vouched for the documents showing the secret alliance between the Bolshevik of Russia and the Kaiser and they know that he has successfully appealed to all civilized governments to repudiate the same Soviets. But they still profess to follow the leadership of President Wilson.

Longuet's daily organ, "Le Populaire," contains almost daily columns of defense of the Soviets and of all of their deeds and policies! Of course, about once a month Longuet writes a pro-Bolshevik article in which he is careful to state he does not indorse absolutely everything the Soviets do, but he is well aware that his paper daily gives the opposite impression, namely, of an indorsement which is not only unqualified but fanatically enthusiastic.

It is evident that these French Bolsheviki are in earnest as to their proposed insurrection. Nobody can doubt that they will take the first favorable opportunity—if any opportunity occurs-to attempt it. They will hardly act while President Wilson is still in Europe but there is every indication that they will attempt something immediately after his departure.

The next few weeks will show whether the sane and loyally democratic elements in the French Federation of Labor will be able to resist this mischievous movement. At the beginning of the war the French Confédération Générale du Travail not only supported this war for democracy by an overwhelming majority but agreed to an International Labor Conference at the end of the war from which all politicians,

whether socialist or nonsocialist, shall be excluded. The French Socialist party has never secured any indorsement of the French Federation of Labor as having the sole and exclusive right to represent the working people politically. If the French Federation is true to its own highly creditable past of the last quarter century and especially to its splendid record during the first three years of the war, it will yet be able to foil this mad movement which can only result in putting back French labor for many years and possibly in wrecking the league of nations which President Wilson is striving so desperately to bring into being.

Mr. GOMPERS. In the issue of this American Federationist for January, this current issue, I carry an address which I made to a conference of two committees, which were appointed by authority of the last convention of the federation, to which I invited a number of labor men in and around New York. I wanted to speak to them and use that as an opportunity to discuss the subject of the creation of a new political labor party. I am discussing that the conference of about 45 or 50 people-and they urged and passed by an informal vote, requesting that inasmuch as it was stenographically taken down, it ought to be published. I publish it in the American Federationist, and in that issue I address each of the committee to which I have referred upon the subject which they were created to consider. and then address them generally upon the question of a new political party. I brought the matter to the attention of the executive council last week. The council indorsed my address by a unanimous vote, and directed that it be published in pamphlet form and be spread broadcast. That has been done, and I am expecting in the course of a day or two that pamphlet will be ready; the address referring to the particular subjects with which the two committees will have to deal has been eliminated in the pamphlet. The simple question is the matter of the political party. It also contains the fact that it was indorsed by, and the terms in which the executive council indorsed my address. This is not because of its political or economical value that I bring this matter to your attention, gentlemen, but simply to give you some idea of the situation in reference to the questions upon which I am addressing you on to-day, as to the peculiar practices when a political party dominates the purely labor

movement.

(The address referred to is here printed in full in the record as follows:)

SHOULD A POLITICAL LABOR PARTY BE FORMED?

AN ADDRESS BY SAMUEL GOMPERS, PRESIDENT AMERICAN FEDERATION OF LABOR. The following address by President Gompers was fully considered by the executive council of the American Federation of Labor and unanimously indorsed. The address expresses the judgment of the executive council to protect and to promote the best interests of the workers and of the labor movement of America. It conforms to the letter and spirit of the provisions of the constitution of the American Federation of Labor, Article III, section 8:

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Party politics, whether they be Democratic, Republican, Socialistic, Populistic. Prohibition, or any other, shall have no place in the conventions of the American Federation of Labor."

While local and central bodies and State federations may enter into the political field, either independently or otherwise, it is not within their province to form or become part of a national political party. (Adopted by the executive council of the American Federation of Labor at its meeting held in New York City on Dec. 28, 1918. Mr. GOMPERS. And now, a consideration of the subject I have in mind and for which I have asked the gentlemen of the committees and the ladies and gentlemen of labor to participate in this conference.

In the last few weeks there have been published certain situations which exist and certain movements which were about to be inaugurated. In a few of the cities

that situation and that movement have become accentuated. In Chicago, New York City, and two or three places the labor movement has expressed itself through the central bodies in favor of the formation of a political labor party.

No man has the right to look upon such a move lightly, or without deep consideration or deep concern. Either the proposed movement about to be inaugurated for the establishment of a political labor party is good, or it is bad. Either it is advantageous or it is injurious, and the purpose of my asking that we meet this afternoon is to present to you some facts upon that subject.

You who were in the movement of long ago will remember that to which I refer. We had in the United States a fairly growing labor movement of some trade unionists in some form of a federation called the National Labor Union. That organization went along, inspired good spirit and activity among the workers, and then called a national convention for the purpose of nominating a President of the United States. That convention met and nominated Justice David Davis, a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, as its candidate for President, and after nominating Mr. Davis adjourned and never met again. The trade unions then in existence fell off in membership until the organizations became very weak and ineffective. Some organizations fell by the wayside. Labor was in a most deplorable condition, without opportunity for defense and robbed entirely of any power to press forward its rightful

claims.

In 1885-86, after a few years of precarious early existence, the American Federation of Labor tried to build up and extend its influence and organize the workers into their unions.

In 1884 the American Federation of Labor declared for the introduction of the eighthour workday, May 1, 1886. It proposed negotiations with the employers to the accomplishment of that high purpose. The movement gained great impetus and large advantages followed, but on May 2 or 3, 1886, a bomb was thrown at a meeting which was being held at Haymarket Square, Chicago, which killed and maimed more than 20 policemen. The meeting was supposed to have been held in the interest of the eight-hour movement. The wrath of the people which was aroused against those in charge of the Haymarket meeting gave the eight-hour day a severe blow and set-back. However, the eight-hour day was secured for the workers in several industries and a reduction in the hours of labor from 16 to 12 or from 12 to 10 became almost universal in the United States. But the eight-hour movement as such was destroyed for the time being.

Due in part to that incident and to the resentment of the workers because they had lost so much that they could have obtained and due to certain local conditions, political rather than economic, in various cities the local movement undertook political campaigns and organized a political party in Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Boston, and New York. This resulted in the organized labor movement of New York City launching into a campaign which nominated Henry George as mayor of the city. It was my privilege to enter into that campaign with the men (there are a few of them in this room now) who were active at the time. I aided to the very best of my ability. Henry George received 68,000 votes and came very near election. Some claim that he was really elected, but that in the last hours many of the supporters of Theodore Roosevelt who was the mayoralty candidate of the Republican Party abandoned him and cast their votes for Abram S. Hewitt, who was the Democratic candidate for mayor. After the campaign closed and the election was held, the movement took on another phase. It was called the Progressive Labor Party. They admitted to membership not only the men of organized labor but what had popularly been called by a great many the "brain with brawn" or "brain with labor." The campaign was carried

on with such scandalous results, that nearly all the men of labor who had some selfrespect had to hold themselves in the background for fear that they might be besmirched with the incidents which occurred in the campaign.

A man, an extremely rich man, in business in the city of New York at the time, was induced to become the candidate for mayor as the representative of labor. Í think it was Mr. Coogan, a man engaged in the furniture business. Mr. Coogan had, I was informed, wonderful experience in financial transactions of which he was not entirely and fully aware until it was all over. By the way, there was a popular phrase which came into effect right at that time, "Wass ist loos mit Coogan." (What is the matter with Coogan.)

I mention these things of our own country, and now I want to mention a few things of other countries of which I have been a personal, intimate, and close observer.

In Germany, the trade-union movement having been dissolved by Bismarck and the organizations of labor not having the right to exist, went to its death for the time. Then, when there was a slight moderation of that order, the trade-union movement of that country was organized from the top down. There were executive officers who imposed their will upon the rank and file. There was no democracy of administra

tion, of construction, or of the right of the membership to determine policies. Benefits were paid by the officers of the general organization. These officers had the power to determine whether the workers were entitled to the insurance and other benefits. It was a matter of power vested in the executives. You can imagine how necessary it was for the rank and file to endeavor to curry favor with the executives in order that they might not be discriminated against unfairly.

In 1905 I was in Hamburg and Bremen, in consulatation with the officers of the general labor movement of Germany. Among whom were Legien and Von Elm. They were not permitted to hold public meetings dealing with any subject affecting labor or the government. Before I reached there Mr. Von Elm, with whom I had been in correspondence because he belonged to the Cigarmakers' International Union here of which I am a member, invited me to deliver an address in German in a public meeting before 5,000 or 10,000 persons, but it was necessary for me to address them in German, because an address in any other language but German would not be permitted. I could speak and read German but I did not feel competent to deliver an address in the German language before a gathering of 5,000 or 10,000 people. I was afraid of my own weakness and that possibly by reason of grammatical errors some might say: "Well, if he can not speak he ought not to try to speak to us," and thereby discount anything I might say. Therefore, I declined it.

They agreed, however, to call a social gathering. Invitations were sent out to 132 people to attend. The full number responded. I spoke to them in the German language, but the meeting was secret. The unions were struggling for the right to meet as unions and to have the guaranty of the law for their legal right to maintain their organizations and to hold such meetings; in other words, the right of free association. I had the assurance of Von Elm, Leguen and others that the Socialist Political Party of Germany denied the demand made by the trade-unions to work to secure from the Government a law guaranteeing the workers the right to organize as a free association of workers. The Socialist Political Party of Germany, which is the only political party claiming to be the workmen's party, denied the union-labor movement of Germany the right to take political action in order to secure the lawful right for its existence.

The French organized-labor movement is not extensive. Some of the most completely organized unions are wholly out of touch with the Confederation Generale du Travail-that is, the French Federation of Labor-because they want to exercise their individual right of trade-unionisms and trade-union action. To interallied labor conference in London in September there came a delegation from France of three or four men representing the French Federation of Labor and then a delegation of about 7, 8, or 10 representing the Majority Socialist Party of France and about that same number representing the Minority Socialist Party. The vote of the delegation was divided between the Majority and Minority Socialist Parties and the French Federation of Labor. The political party dominates the trade-union movement of France.

In England there is the British Trade Union Congress, the British Federation of Trade Unions, and the Labor Party. For the discussion of business when the conventions of either party are not in session, they meet jointly in conference through the parliamentary committee of the British Trade Union Congress and the executive committee of the Labor Party. Quite a number of the members of the parliamentary committee of the British Trade Union Congress are members of the Labor Party, and quite a number of them who hold their seats in Parliament are members of the Labor Party. As a matter of fact, the executive committee of the Labor Party dominates the entire movement of England.

At a conference held at Derby, England, in September, 1918, the executive officers of the Labor Party presided and dominated the proceedings. And all the time that I was in England I never heard of a phrase like this: "The British trade-union movement and the Labor Party." I never heard it said: "The parliamentary committee of the British Trade Union Congress and the executive committee of the Labor Party." It was always the Labor Party and the Trade Union Congress. The Labor Party of England dominates the labor movement of England.

When the interallied labor conference opened in London, September 17, early in the morning there were sent over to my room at the hotel cards which were intended to be the credential cards for our delegation to sign and hand in as our credentials. The card read something like this: "The undersigned is a duly accredited delegate to the interallied socialist conference to be held at London," etc., and giving the dates I refused to sign my name, or permit my name to be put upon any card of that character. My associates were as indignant as I was and refused to sign any such credential. We went to the hall where the conference was to be held. There was a young lady at the door. When we made an effort to enter she asked for our cards.

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