Works of Marx and Engels 1850

Draft Statement by Heinrich Bauer and Karl Pfänder on the Funds of the German Workers' Educational Society in London

Source: MECW Volume 10, p. 533-534;
Written: end of 1850;
First published: Marx/Engels, Works, second Russ. ed. Vol 44, Moscow, 1977.

1) The [German Workers Educational Society] Society has been totally changed in character by the emigration, caused by the political situation, of members who were for financial reasons readily accepted by Messrs. Schapper and Willich, and by honorary members accepted with the right to vote, who pay no contributions at all. The payment of moneys to the Society would only lead to their being used for purposes entirely contrary to the original intention.

2) We have taken over the moneys as Trustees of the Society. The position of trustees is laid down in English law. A trustee can use the money at his discretion provided he is able to pay it after the customary notice.

3) Concerning the present use of the moneys, Citizens Schapper and Willich, who now for private considerations insist on the repayment of the moneys, know very well that at all times the Society has been backed, without the prior knowledge of most members, by a secret committee with unlimited powers to dispose of the Society's funds. Herr Schapper knows this the better as he has more than once received money from the Society for personal purposes through the medium of the committee.

4) The money was nevertheless offered to the Society by us and as the Society, after seemingly accepting our proposals, suddenly took us to court--without success---we have deposited the money with a London citizen b in whose hands it will remain until the Society offers adequate guarantees for its use in accordance with the original intention.

5) Concerning the refusal to put things in writing, such writing would have no validity in law. Even a written declaration would not bind the signatories legally vis-a-vis a moral person. Such a written declaration would have no other purpose than to be put to a use contrary to contract.

The undersigned are workers and not used to live by exploiting the Society, like Herr Schapper, or by using the refugee fund like Herr von Willich.