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Leon Jouhaux

On completion of my military service, I went back to the factory and to the trade union.

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The working classes were becoming more and more sharply aware of the complex causes of international malaise.

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We too, through lack of knowledge and of sufficiently mature reflection, mistook the visible outward appearance of the phenomenon for the phenomenon itself.

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From 1918 on, trade unionists were to express from the platforms of their congresses the workers' desire for peace through a rational organization of the world.

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The trade unions, far from being content with these declarations, established international liaisons and supported every policy based on pacification and understanding.

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This disaster did not force us to abandon our ideal; on the contrary, from the very first months of the conflict, it led us to define precisely the conditions for its realization.

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This led me to understand that trade unionism, the instrument of working-class liberation and of social change could, and indeed should, be also an instrument of industrial progress.

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I would not go so far as to say that the French trade unions attached greater importance to the struggle for peace than the others did; but they certainly seemed to take it more to heart.

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In the report made on behalf of the C.G.T. we affirmed that the Peace Treaty should, in accordance with the spirit of workers' organizations, lay the first foundations of the United States of Europe.

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A convention was drawn up on June 17, 1925, in which the principle of supervision, as opposed to that of simple propaganda, was recognized, thanks to the efforts of the labour members, of whom I was one.

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