Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER VII: Labour Exchanges in France - Socialistic Fallacies
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CHAPTER VII: Labour Exchanges in France - Yves Guyot, Socialistic Fallacies 
Socialistic Fallacies (London: Cope and Fenwick, 1910).
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Labour Exchanges in France
Subsidising the arsenals of the social war—The Labour Exchange versus labour—The Labour Exchanges versus the State—Inspectors of labour and the Labour Exchanges.
Not only does the “infamous bourgeoisie” tolerate the organising of a general strike, it contributes to it, subsidises it, and supports it.
In Paris, the bourgeoisie places a municipal edifice at the disposal of the agitators, paid for by the ratepayers of Paris and supported by them. By its help the leaders of the trades unions are supplied with allowances, heating, lighting, etc. For what purpose? To enable them to prepare for such events as the general strike. It is there that men can be heard declaring that, if they are resisted, they will organise a sanguinary insurrection; they announce that the electricians will have recourse to the destruction of property which, in their case, will consist in the organised making of short-circuits accompanied by fires and explosions as the necessary consequences; they announce that the strike of March 8th, 1906, was only a first attempt, but that they will take care, on the next occasion, to have the gasworkers with them. They give notice that in future, whenever a Municipal Council, a Parliament or a Government, declines to submit to one of their demands—demands which are always made in the name of a minority contrary to the general interest—they will have recourse to some means of this kind until the final catastrophe is attained, of which they allow their dupes to catch a glimpse, just as prophets of the millennium gave hints of the last judgment.
They quietly prepare this work in a Municipal palace, at our expense; and scattered over various districts of France there are one hundred and twenty-four other Labour Exchanges, so called because they are solely pre-occupied with strikes, all of them supported in the same way by the municipalities. The members of the General Confederation of Labour are justified in being full of scorn for a capitalist society which gives them so large and devoted a measure of assistance towards its own destruction.
I denounced the Labour Exchanges in the Chamber of Deputies on May 8th, 1893, and my speech caused them to be closed. M. Mesureur reopened them in 1895, with the result that the disorders took place which M. Rousselle denounced in the Paris Municipal Council. But they are still subsidised and their heads declare that “the Labour Exchanges have entered into acute antagonism with the State.”
In a circular dated January 19th, 1900, M. Millerand, Minister of Commerce, instructed the inspectors of labour to enter into communication, either personally or by letter, with the secretaries of the Labour Exchanges and to request them to inform him of all violations of the laws for the protection of labour. M. Viviani repeated these instructions and ordered the inspectors to “ask the trades unions to report violations of the law relating to the weekly day of rest, and to give effect, as promptly as possible, to the information they might receive.”
The Labour Exchanges carry on the tradition of the Revolutionary Committees of 1793, which were originally charged with the surveillance of suspected persons and finally with the duty of arresting them. If ever a law be passed against employers of labour, similar to the “loi de prairial,” they will be quite ready to carry it out.