22nd National Conference of Christian Workers’ Youth

THE French Christian Workers’ Federation held its 22nd National Congress in Paris. About 500 delegates from all the federations of the home country and the empire, studied the serious living questions which face the youth of the working class. At the final session a summing up was given of the work of the various committees. Important aims include:

(1) Protection of the health of young people. The Christian Workers Youth has been doing, good work for a year already and intends to follow it up with the demand that the balance between the needs of the health of youth and the necessities of production should always be maintained. As regards sick persons, a “Sick Persons Law” has been drafted which the organisation claims should be enforced.

(2) Sounding a warning in regard to leisure facilities. Their scarcity, or their high cost, has the effect of a concentration on dances to such an extent that the physical health of young people suffers.

(3) Defining the independent position of the Christian Workers’ Youth with regard to the State, family protection movements, trade unions, and political parties.

(4) Drawing attention afresh-to the importance of apprenticeship, and protecting in this sphere the rights of natural educators, firstly the family.

(5) Demanding the enforcement of the law regarding marriage loans and asking for increase of dowry funds.

(6) Encouraging the formation of an international workingclass youth movement completely independent of politics. Economic problems in general were discussed from the point of View of the health, self-respect and educational needs of young workers.

A question on the results of the 22nd Congress of the French Christian Workers’ Federation brought the following reply from M. Gaston Tessier, the general secretary:

“I will not attempt to conceal from you that this gathering of young militants, tempered in the crucible of the Resistance Movement and trained by direct action brings great joy and hope for the future to an old militant like myself. The French Christian Workers’ Federation is extending its influence more and more amongst workers and young people; does not this fact promise us a useful and propitious career in the service of the working class? Our influence even extends to .North Africa, where we are taking firm hold.”

The discussions were naturally mainly around wages and prices. Whilst they were aware of the danger of a futile race between wages and prices, the delegates were of the opinion that an economic re-organisation was necessary. Skilled wages must be substantially increased. Increases in wages which would increase the productivity of labour, which is jeopardised by low standards of living, must be combined with a vigorous price stabilisation policy.

The federal office had made contact with the C.G.T. (Confederation of Labour) with a view to common action. M. Leon Jouhaux replied that his organisation whilst recognising the different stand taken by the Christian Workers’ Federation was anxious to work in unity with them for the benefit of the working class.

M. Gaston Tessier then stated: “I am sure that the concerted action of the Confederation of Labour and the French Christian Workers’ Federation will protect our common working-class interests and be of benefit to the whole working class. We are anxious to see this way of working become universal—it is in no way incompatible with our formula of ‘the free trade union in the organised industry,’ but will allow us to make this a reality.”

SOURCE

22nd National Conference of Christian Workers’ Youth (Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 – 1954), Wednesday 17 July 1946, page 30)(Trove=