Leon Trotsky

The First Five Years of the Communist International

Volume 2

Resolution of the
French Commission [1]

December 2, 1922

a) Central Committee – As an exception, owing to the acute crisis provoked by the Paris Convention, the Central Committee shall be constituted on a proportional basis, in accordance with the voting at the Convention for members of Central bodies.

The proportional representation of the various factions shall be as follows

The Political Bureau shall be formed on the same basis; the different factions being represented as follows: centre – 3; left – 3; Renoult Tendency – 1.

In order to avoid all disputes of a personal character which might tend to aggravate the crisis, the members of the Central Committee. as well as those of the Political Bureau and other important Central bodies will be nominated by the various factions now present in Moscow. The slate of candidates is to be submitted by the French delegation to the Fourth World Congress, and the delegation will undertake to support this slate before the party. The Fourth Congress accepts this declaration in the conviction that this slate is the only possible one for solving the existing party crisis. The slate of the new Central Committee drawn up by the various factions is as follows:

The Centre



The Left



Renoult Faction



A national conference with the powers of a party convention shall ratify this slate not later than the last two weeks in January.

Until that time the provisional Central Committee appointed by the Paris Convention will continue to function.

b) The Press – The congress confirms the régime that has already been decided:

  1. the direction of the newspapers shall be turned over to the Political Bureau;
  2. there shall be a daily unsigned leading editorial giving the readers the position of the party;
  3. party journalists are prohibited from contributing to the bourgeois press.

Both of these comrades have equal powers; in other words, any disagreement between them must be brought before the Political Bureau and settled by it.

Editorial Secretariat: one representative from the centre and one from the left.

The editorship of the Bulletin communiste will be given to a comrade of the left.

The editors who resigned will resume their posts.

In preparation for the national conference, The Party Page, will be re-established, in which each tendency will have the right to express its point of view.

c) The General Secretariat – It shall be constituted on a parity basis: one comrade – from the centre and one from the left; all disagreements to be settled by the Political Bureau.

d) Delegates to the ECCI – The congress considers it absolutely necessary, in order to establish normal and cordial relations between the ECCI and the French party, that the two most important tendencies in the party be represented in Moscow by those comrades best qualified and authorized by their respective factions, namely – by Comrades Souvarine and Frossard who shall be delegated for at least three months, that is, until the termination of the crisis within the French party.

The fact that the French party will be represented in Moscow by Frossard and Souvarine will completely assure that every suggestion of the ECCI, arrived at in agreement with these two comrades, will receive the support of the whole party.

e) Salaries of Party Functionaries – As regard the salaries of party functionaries, editors, etc., the party will set up a special commission to regulate this question on the basis of the following two rules:

  1. All possibility must be eliminated of excessive salaries which provoke legitimate indignation among the mass of workers adhering to the party.
  2. Those comrades whose work is absolutely indispensable for the party must be placed in a position which will permit them to devote all their energies to party work.

f) Committees

  1. Administrative Committee of l’Humanité:
    Centre – 6 representatives; Left – 5; Renoult Tendency – 2.
    The French Commission finds it acceptable, as an exceptional measure, that proportional representation should likewise be applied to the most important committees.
  2. Trade-Union Secretariat: One Secretary from the centre and one from the left; all disputes to be referred to the Political Bureau.

g) Disputed Questions – Disputes that might arise in connection with the organizational decisions taken in Moscow and over their application shall be settled by a special commission composed of one representative of the centre, one representative of the left, with the delegate of the ECCI presiding.

h) Positions from Which Former Masons Are Barred – Involved here are those posts whose holders have the power of representing more or less independently and on their own responsibility the ideas of the party before the working masses, by voice or by pen.

In case differences of opinion arise between the two factions concerning such posts, the question must be referred for decision to the above-mentioned commission.

In case of technical difficulties that might possibly arise in reinstating those editors who have resigned, these are to be referred for decision to the same commission.

All decisions that do not involve the formation of the Central Committee are immediately applicable.

In addition to these decisions, the Renoult Tendency has asked to have a substitute at the ECCI along with Comrades Frossard and Souvarine, for a period for three months. The French Commission has unanimously granted this request of the Renoult Tendency.


1. This resolution was adopted at the 29th session of the Fourth Congress, on December 2, 1922.

2. Louis Sellier, member of the Central Committee of the French CP, was in 1921-22 one of the leaders of the left-centrist formation inside that party. In 1922 he represented the French CP on the ECCI.

3. Vaillant-Couturier, orator and deputy, was a member of the Central Committee of the French CP. In the 1921-22 factional struggles he was one of the leaders of the Left Wing. After Lenin’s death, he became a staunch pillar of Stalinism.

4. Souvarine was one of the founders of the French CP. In 1919 he was one of the leaders of the “Committee for the Third International.” In 1921-22 he headed the struggle of the Left Wing against Frossard. After Lenin’s death he broke with Stalinism only to break also with Marxism. In the days before World War II his name became synonymous with the cynicism, pessimism and defeatism that permeated the ranks of all renegades from the revolutionary socialist movement.

5. Tommasi, a veteran trade unionist, was one of the outstanding worker-Communists in France. Together with Monatte, Monmousseau and others, Tommasi was one of the leaders of the CGTU at the time.

6. Dunois, member of the Central Committee of the French CP was prominent at the time. Together with Loriot, Souvarine and others, Dunois had worked for the creation of the French CP. During the 1921-22 factional struggles he belonged to the Left Wing and was one of the four editors who resigned at the Marseilles Convention.

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Last updated on: 18.1.2007