A. Badayev

The Bolsheviks in the Tsarist Duma


Chapter II
The Elections in St. Petersburg

The Election Campaign in St. Petersburg – The Elections – The Electoral Congress – The Annulment of the Elections in the Biggest Factories and Mills – Strike and Demonstration against the Annulment of the Elections – The Second Elections – The Acceptance of the Bolshevik Instructions – Election of Deputies

The election of delegates from factories and mills was to take place in the early autumn of 1912; but during the summer months preparation and agitation were already being conducted among the workers of St. Petersburg.

The Central Committee attached exceptional importance to the elections in St. Petersburg and therefore instructed the St. Petersburg organisation to extend its work as widely as possible and to mobilise all the party forces for the election campaign. The St. Petersburg Committee set up a commission to superintend the elections, and the city wards were allocated among its members.

The Bolshevik headquarters for the campaign were the editorial offices of Pravda, which became the scene of hard and continuous work. On these premises, meetings were held with the representatives of the districts and of the individual factories and mills. Simultaneously illegal election meetings were organised in the city districts.

Owing to the fact that incessant watch was kept by the police on every “suspicious” worker, we had to resort to all sorts of subterfuges in order to gather together even in small groups. Usually, in order to avoid the attentions of the police, small meetings of not more than ten to twenty people were called. Summer helped us. Under the guise of picnic-parties, groups of workers went to the suburbs, mostly into the forest beyond the Oklita. The forest was the best refuge from police spies, who would not venture beyond the outskirts, for it was easy to escape from them there, and they were afraid of being attacked in some out-of-the-way spot.

At the meetings vehement arguments arose with the Liquidators. Our Party called on the workers to enter the elections on the basic unabridged demands and to elect Bolsheviks only as delegates. The Liquidators talked continually about “unity,” the necessity of a united front, the necessity of abandoning factional disputes and, of course, of electing their candidates.

At some places the Socialist-Revolutionaries appeared, and insisted on the boycott of the elections, but their proposals met with no success among the workers. The chief arguments at all the meetings took place between the Liquidators and the Bolsheviks. [B]

Towards the end of summer, the “forest” meetings started to discuss candidates. To ensure the success of the election campaign, agitation in favour of the prospective candidate should have been immediately commenced among all the workers at the factory or mill concerned. This, however, was impossible; the prospective candidate would certainly have been arrested the moment his name became widely known. The delegate was not safe even after the elections, but a prospective delegate was foredoomed to be trapped by the police. Therefore the names of the prospective candidates were kept secret, and the workers were only informed of them at the last moment before the elections.

Which political parties were presenting candidates at the elections? The Black Hundreds with their “Union of the Russian People,” “Union of the Archangel Michael,” and similar organisations were afraid even to show their faces at the factories and mills. The parties of the Liberal bourgeoisie also had no chance among the workers. Although the Cadets professed to defend the interests of the workers, the latter understood perfectly well the sort of protection they could expect from the bourgeois parties, led by the bitterest enemies of the proletariat – the industrialists and the merchants.

Although they did not venture to agitate for their own candidates, the Cadets could not withstand the temptation to attempt to hamper the campaign of the Social-Democrats. A few days before the elections they spread rumours that the Social-Democrats were boycotting the Duma. This was an old lie which had been used by the Cadets during previous election campaigns.

On the one hand the parties of the Right and the Liberals were out of the running, and on the other the Duma was boycotted by the Socialist-Revolutionaries; in fact, only the Social-Democratic Party took the field in the fight in the workers’ electoral college (curia). The struggle was conducted almost exclusively between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks. But at the same time it was possible that some unexpected candidates might be elected as independents, and might subsequently play a part in the selection of electors. Such non-party people usually argued against party candidates, that “one should not be led by the reins of any party,” that “it is necessary to elect honest people known to the workers.”

The Bolsheviks persistently attacked this position, explained its harmfulness to the working class and pointed out that non-party people were men without any firm convictions or principles, who might easily wander in the wrong direction. The working class can be genuinely represented only by members of a party which possesses a platform and a programme of its own, and which is controlling its representatives.

The nearer the date of the elections drew, the more intense became the electoral struggle. The precise date of the elections was not known beforehand. This was one of the tricks of the government, which, by fixing the election date suddenly, attempted to take the workers unawares and to decrease the number of voters.

In St. Petersburg, the election of delegates to the workers’ electoral college was fixed for Sunday, September 16. Yet the workers only learned of this on Friday, September 14, and at some factories even as late as Saturday. At the Semyanikovsky works the announcement of the elections was posted up during a three days’ holiday, i.e., at a time when there were no workers about.

By the date of the elections both the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks had mobilised all their forces. According to the law, the factory administration had to provide premises for the election meeting, but even this legal requirement was not always complied with. At one of the biggest works in St. Petersburg, the Obukhov works, the election could not take place because at the time appointed all the premises were closed. At the Izhorsky works, although an election hall was provided, entrance to it was only allowed for fifteen minutes. After fifteen minutes the door was closed and bolted and the workers who arrived later were prevented from voting. Siemens and Halske, the International Sleeping Car Company, and many other undertakings, especially those outside the city boundaries, acted in an even simpler fashion. The workers of these factories were not entered by the management on the official lists of voters. When the workers learned this and lodged protests with the electoral commission, they were told that it was too late and that the commission could do nothing to restore their rights.

A number of measures were also adopted to ensure that the election meetings proceeded as desired by the authorities. In some places the police arrested the prospective delegates and the most active revolutionary workers. Legally, outsiders, including the works management and the police, had no right to be present at the meetings, but the strong police patrols posted near the works bore witness in the most convincing fashion to the pressure exercised by the police. In order to provide a reason for the annulment of the elections, the management of some works did not present the lists of workers who were qualified to vote in virtue of their period of employment. At the Putilov works the management started to divide the shops into separate groups at the very moment of the elections, declaring that the repair-shop workers, the carpenters, the painters, etc., had to vote separately.

These few instances – and we could quote many more – show the conditions under which the election of delegates took place at St. Petersburg. The factory administration everywhere actively assisted the government in curtailing the electoral rights of the workers. But all these methods proved futile. Apart from the fact that not a single candidate of the Right was successful, nearly everywhere the workers passed resolutions on the most burning questions agitating the masses at that time: protesting against the non-admission of trade union delegates to the congress of factory inspectors, demanding the immediate convocation of a congress for the election of the social insurance council, dealing with general political questions, etc. Thus the course of the election of the workers’ delegates showed that the whole of the St. Petersburg proletariat had taken up a thoroughly revolutionary position.

The election in the car-repair shops of the Nikolaievsky Railway [1], where I was working, took place in a similar fashion to those at other St. Petersburg factories. Our works, where 3,000 men were employed, was known of old as one distinguished by its revolutionary temper. The election meeting was held in the “Yama” (the Hole), one of the workshops big enough to hold some 10,000 people. During the 1905 revolution and subsequently, huge meetings, embracing the whole district, were held on these historic premises. At the election meeting, after a general report on the elections, a discussion followed on the tasks of the election campaign, on the State Duma, on the participation of the workers in the election, etc.

Several months previously, in the middle of the summer, I had learned that the Party organisation had nominated me as a candidate. As the elections drew nearer, the question of candidates began to be hotly debated in the departments and the workshops. All the workers in the factory knew me by my former work, and my candidature therefore met with general support and it was clear that I should be elected by an overwhelming majority. The second candidate proposed by the Bolsheviks was Comrade Melnikov. In addition candidates nominated by the Mensheviks and independent candidates were put forward.

The candidatures were vehemently debated and the meeting considered the merits of each candidate individually. Apart from the political platform, the personal characteristics of each candidate were discussed, his activity, his influence at the works, his political steadfastness, etc. The voting was by secret ballot, and when the count was taken it was found that I had been elected by a large majority. Our second candidate, Comrade Melnikov, was also elected, the remaining candidates receiving only two or three votes each.

Of the eighty delegates elected to the St. Petersburg workers’ electoral college, the overwhelming majority were Social-Democrats. Many of them had a revolutionary past; they had been persecuted by the police, tried in courts of law, exiled to distant regions. Some of them, however, had not made up their minds about Party differences and were vacillating between the two factions of the Party. Thus it was not clear who would be elected in the second stage of the elections (the selection of electors to the workers’ electoral college) which would determine the choice of the future deputy.

Both the Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks started an intensive campaign among the delegates, trying to win over the doubtful ones. The campaign for electors was even more impetuous than that for the delegates. Here, too, the Duma election law had placed a number of obstacles in our path. No meetings of the delegates were allowed and all attempts to arrange such meetings under some pretext or other were prevented by the police, who watched carefully to ensure that the workers’ delegates should not communicate with one another.

For this reason press campaigns played an enormous part in the second stage of the elections. Pravda and Luch (The Ray) [2] agitated for their respective factions, calling on the delegates to vote for their candidates. Both factions mobilised the entire arsenal of their arguments, and the polemics between these two newspapers were even more bitter than during the election of the delegates.

The principal argument of the Menshevik-Liquidators against the Bolsheviks was the accusation that the latter were breaking the unity of the working class. By this talk of unity the Mensheviks attempted to side-track the discussion of political programmes, for they knew beforehand that they would be beaten on that issue. Whilst evading this discussion in every possible way, they continually cried out for “agreement,” “unity” and “personal candidates.”

“The only way out of the difficult situation,” wrote Luch, “is through an agreement between the Social-Democratic factions, or failing that, between the Social-Democratic delegates, for the purpose of united action at the congress of delegates and of electing from the Social-Democratic delegates – irrespective of their tendencies – the most steadfast electors to be chosen on account of their personal qualities.”

This was indeed the only way out for the Mensheviks, because under the flag of “the most steadfast, to be chosen on account of their personal qualities,” it was possible to elect a man with any political platform, consequently also a Menshevik, even if the Mensheviks were not in a majority among the representatives.

Pravda, exposing the Mensheviks, wrote that there was no occasion to be afraid of a struggle within the working class, that such a struggle would not destroy unity but, on the contrary, would strengthen it in the future.

This struggle is inevitable, since the workers have to decide which tactics the Social-Democratic fraction in the Duma should adopt. This struggle – we specially stress this – will not endanger in the slightest the unity of the working class, for the question now is whether this or that delegate be chosen as elector. The workers must and will act unitedly, but precisely for the sake of this unity it is necessary that the workers’ deputy should represent the views of the majority and not those of the minority.

The Bolsheviks proposed that the vote should be taken after both political platforms had been discussed at the meeting. This was precisely what the Mensheviks did not want; they were afraid that the discussion would turn out unfavourably for them.

The Bolsheviks considered the contest over the choice of electors as a conflict between political platforms determining the tactics of the future Social-Democratic fraction in the State Duma, whereas the Mensheviks tried to win this fight by advancing the principle of personal election, i.e., by stressing the personal qualities of individual candidates.

Disputes between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks grew more bitter, not only among the leaders but also among the rank and file, at factories and works and among the delegates themselves.

A week before the selection of electors, an illegal meeting of delegates took place in the forest two or three versts from Porokhovye station. The meeting was attended by about thirty delegates and a few representatives from the Bolshevik St. Petersburg Committee and the Organisation Commission of the Mensheviks. Since many of the prominent members of the Party were present, the issues were presented in their most acute form. The battle was fought out in the open. The Bolsheviks argued that it was necessary to choose as electors comrades who would carry out the programme of the Party and submit to Party directions; the Liquidators insisted on their point, that in order to avoid a split it was necessary to elect individuals irrespective of their platform.

Comrade Lashevich spoke on behalf of the Bolshevik St. Petersburg Committee. With his usual impetuousness he declared: “We shall unmask you, we shall show the workers what lies behind your hypocritical phrases about unity.”

After five hours of stormy arguments our resolution secured an absolute majority, having obtained two-thirds of the votes of the delegates present. But to this result the Liquidators refused to submit.

All efforts to reach an agreement failed, each side categorically rejecting the various proposals advanced by the other. While these negotiations to find a common line of action were proceeding, individual delegates attempted the same task and each faction of the Party tried to win their support.

On the day before the electoral college was to assemble, the Menshevik delegates threatened a split if their proposals were not accepted. Luch wrote that if no agreement were reached on the question of the choice of electors, the Mensheviks would also nominate their own candidates in the second electoral city curiæ of St. Petersburg where the two sections of the Party had put up a joint list of candidates. Of course their threat did not affect our decision in the slightest degree.

The workers’ electoral college met on October 5. Throughout the election the authorities continued to adopt methods of obstruction. The date of the meeting was only announced on the evening before, i.e., a few hours before the delegates were to assemble; this haste was intended to disrupt the electoral college. In addition, a new surprise had been prepared. At the same time as this announcement was made, the delegates from a number of factories and mills were “disqualified.” On October 4, the day before the electoral college was to assemble, the workers of twenty-one factories and mills were notified that the elections of their representatives had been declared invalid. Finally, at the assembly of the electoral college itself, the governor “disqualified” the delegates of another eight undertakings in the Schliesselburg district. Some of the largest factories had their delegates disqualified, such as the Putilov works, which had elected nine delegates, and the Nevsky shipbuilding yard, which had sent three.

The Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks nominated their own candidates for the six electors to be chosen by the electoral college. Although our list had been prepared, it was not published before the election day in order to avoid exposing the candidates to the risk of arrest.

The electoral college, which met in the St. Petersburg City Duma building, was scheduled to open at noon, but the majority of the delegates had arrived an hour before time. They became acquainted with one another and tried to discover who would support the Bolsheviks and who the Mensheviks.

The official chairman of the college, appointed by the government, was Demkin, the vice-mayor of St. Petersburg. He was one of the worst of the Black Hundreds, and, zealously performing his police duties, he tried to hamper as much as possible the already restricted elections. In the preliminary proceedings only one hour was allowed for the discussion of the lists of candidates.

Of the fifty delegates, five or six were non-party and the rest Social-Democrats, either Bolsheviks or Mensheviks. This gathering, restricted exclusively to the delegates, was the final stage of the struggle between the two factions. Now the choice had to be made, electors had to be chosen. The discussion was exceptionally violent; each group presented its own list of candidates and its own programme. There was no longer any question of compromise. Speeches were devoted to winning the support of those delegates who, for some reason or other, had not yet decided how to vote.

Despite the opposition of the Mensheviks, we succeeded in raising the question of the election programme. A Menshevik representative spoke first, but when a Bolshevik commenced to reply, Demkin came into the hall, broke into the discussion, and ordered us to proceed with the ballot.

In the hall a ballot-box was provided for each delegate with his name pasted on it. The voting was by secret ballot and it took more than an hour for the papers to be sorted and the election procedure to be concluded. All those elected were Social-Democrats, four of them from the list published by the Pravda.

The atmosphere in which the elections were held and the hasty “disqualification” of the delegates from half of the factories and mills aroused the indignation of the St. Petersburg workers. The government had gone too far. The workers answered with a powerful movement of protest.

The Putilov factory was the first to act. On the day of the elections, October 5, instead of returning to their benches after dinner, the workers assembled in the workshops and declared a strike. The whole factory came out – nearly 14,000 workers. At 3 p.m. several thousand workers left the factory and marched toward the Narvsky gate singing revolutionary songs, but they were dispersed by the police. The movement spread to the Nevsky shipyards, where 6,500 workers organised a meeting and a political demonstration. They were joined by the workers of the Pale and Maxwell mills, the Alexeyev joinery works, etc. On the following day the workers of the Erickson, Lessner, Heisler, Vulcan, Duflon, Phoenix, Cheshire, Lebedev, and other factories struck.

The strike quickly spread all over St. Petersburg. The strike was not restricted to those factories at which the election of delegates had been annulled, but many others were also involved. Meetings and demonstrations were organised. Several factories linked their protests against the persecution of trade unions with those against the nullification of the elections. The strike was completely political; no economic demands whatever were formulated. Within ten days more than 70,000 were involved in the movement. The workers demonstrated very clearly that they would not give up their right to vote and that they realised both what the elections meant and what the work of the future workers’ deputies in the Duma would be.

The strike movement continued to grow until the government was convinced that it could not deprive the workers of their right to vote and was forced to announce that new primary elections would be held in the works affected. Many factories and mills which had not participated before in the election of delegates were included in the new list. In consequence the elections of electors had to be annulled and new elections held after additional delegates had been elected. This was a great victory for the working class and particularly for the St. Petersburg proletariat, which had shown such revolutionary class-consciousness.

The supplementary elections of delegates from more than twenty undertakings were fixed for Sunday, October 14. Pravda and our Party organisation carried on as strong a propaganda campaign as they had during the first elections. The movement of protest against the workers being deprived of their electoral rights continued while the elections were going on, and the meetings at the factories and mills revealed a growth of revolutionary sentiment and a heightened interest in the election campaign.

For the most part, the same candidates were nominated in the “disqualified” undertakings, but this time they were given instructions which had been worked out by the Bolsheviks. These instructions were, adopted almost everywhere and, characteristically enough, even at some factories where Mensheviks had been elected. At the Semyanninkovsky factory, where one Bolshevik and two Mensheviks had been successful, the Mensheviks tried to add an amendment containing a Menshevik slogan on the right of association. This amendment was rejected by an overwhelming majority and the draft of our instructions adopted without modification.

The Bolshevik instructions, which had been signed by thousands of workers, were also adopted at those factories and mills where the first election of delegates was allowed to stand.

As soon as the supplementary delegates had been elected, a date was fixed for the meeting of the electoral college at which six electors had again to be chosen for the workers’ electoral college. But this time there was no opportunity before the college met to seek agreement on a joint list of candidates. The discussions between the two factions were as violent as before; both Mensheviks and Bolsheviks holding to their former positions and refusing to make any compromise.

The second electoral college assembled on October 17, attended by almost twice as many delegates as had been present at the first; in all there were more than eighty. The strikes and protest meetings had obviously had some influence on Demkin, the official chairman of the electoral college. This time the discussion lasted for more than four hours. In the discussion of the election platform, all the revolutionary tasks with which the working class was faced were thrashed out, and the arguments between the Bolsheviks and the Liquidators developed with renewed vigour.

The delegates decided to use this occasion to make a political demonstration and proposed a number of resolutions on current political questions. Resolutions were passed, protesting against the Balkan war (which was then in progress); binding the future deputy to raise the question of retrying the case of the members of the Second Duma who had been exiled; and protesting against the sentences on the Black Sea sailors. The delegates also issued an appeal calling on the voters of the second electoral city-curiæ to support the candidates of the Social-Democratic party, as the “only steadfast, revolutionary, and fearless defenders of the people’s interests; as the only fighters against political oppression and for complete freedom and rights of all nationalities,” At the end of the meeting, the St. Petersburg workers’ instructions to their delegates, as proposed by the Bolsheviks, were unanimously adopted. These instructions were drafted by the Central Committee of our Party [3] and, as I have already said, were adopted at the meetings held to elect the delegates. The instructions emphasised the importance of using the Duma tribunal for revolutionary propaganda and demanded that both the St. Petersburg deputy and the whole Social-Democratic fraction should fight for the “unabridged” demands of the working class.

The following is the full text of the instructions as passed by the delegates without any additions and amendments:

The demands of the Russian people advanced by the movement of 1905 remain unrealised.

The growth of reaction and the “renovation of the regime” have not only not satisfied these demands, but, on the contrary, have made them still more pressing.

Not only are the workers deprived of the right to strike – there is no guarantee that they will not be discharged for doing so; not only have they no right to organise unions and meetings – there is no guarantee that they will not be arrested for doing so; they have not even the right to elect to the Duma, for they will be “disqualified” or exiled if they do, as the workers from the Putilov works and the Nevsky shipyards were “disqualified” a few days ago.

All this is quite apart from the starving tens of millions of peasants, who are left at the mercy of the landlords and the rural police chiefs.

All this points to the necessity of realising the demands of 1905. The state of economic life in Russia, the signs already appearing ot the approaching industrial crisis and the growing pauperisation of broad strata of the peasantry make the necessity of realising the objects of 1905 more urgent than ever.

We think, therefore, that Russia is on the eve of mass movements, perhaps more profound than those of 1905. This is testified by the Lena events, by the strikes in protest against the “disqualifications,” etc.

As was the case in 1905, the Russian proletariat, the most advanced class of Russian society, will again act as the vanguard of the movement.

The only allies it can have are the long-suffering peasantry, who are vitally interested in the emancipation of Russia from feudalism.

A fight on two fronts – against the feudal order and the Liberal bourgeoisie which is seeking a union with the old powers– such is the form the next actions of the people must assume.

But in order that the working class may honourably discharge its role as the leader of the movement of the people, it must be armed with the consciousness of its interests and with a greater degree of organisation.

The Duma tribune is, under the present conditions, one of the best means for enlightening and organising the broad masses of the proletariat.

It is for this very purpose that we are sending our deputy into the Duma, and we charge him and the whole Social-Democratic fraction of the Fourth Duma to make widely known our demands from the Duma tribune, and not to play at legislation in the State Duma.

We call upon the Social-Democratic fraction of the Fourth Duma, and our deputy in particular, to hold aloft the banner of the working class in the hostile camp of the Black Duma.

We want to hear the voices of the members of the Social-Democratic fraction ring out loudly from the Duma tribune proclaiming the final goal of the proletariat, proclaiming the full and uncurtailed demands of 1905, proclaiming the Russian working class as the leader of the popular movement and denouncing the Liberal bourgeoisie as the betrayer of the “people’s freedom.” [4]

We call upon the Social-Democratic fraction of the Fourth Duma, in its work on the basis of the above slogans, to act in unity and with its ranks closed.

Let it gather its strength from constant contact with the broad masses.

Let it march shoulder to shoulder with the political organisation of the working class of Russia.

In spite of the fact that the Bolshevik instructions were adopted unanimously, two independent lists of candidates – Bolsheviks and Mensheviks – were presented at the election. As in the previous electoral college, voting was by secret ballot. Only five candidates received an absolute majority, Kostyukov and myself for the Bolsheviks, and Gudkov, Petrov, and Sudakov for the Mensheviks. Another ballot was taken on the following day and two Bolsheviks, Ignatyev and Zaitstev, topped the poll. Lots were drawn and Ignatyev was chosen elector.

The second stage of the elections thus resulted in equal representation for the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks, each controlling three of the electors. The Party had demanded that all the electors, with the exception of the candidate for deputy endorsed by the Party, should withdraw and submit to the decision of the majority.

Comrade Stalin, summing up the results of the elections in Pravda, emphasised the fact that the endorsement of the Bolshevik instructions clearly showed who should be elected to the Duma:

No matter how the Liquidators try to obscure the issue, the will of the delegates was quite clear on the most important point, the question of the instructions. By an overwhelming majority the delegates adopted the instructions of Pravda to the deputy ... It is obvious that the instructions differ radically from the Liquidationist platform and that in fact they are completely anti-Liquidationist. The question is: if the Liquidators dare to nominate their own candidate for deputy, what about the instructions which, according to the delegates’ decision, are binding on the deputy?

The Liquidators, however, attached little importance to the clearly expressed will of the delegates. They intended to nominate their own candidate regardless of results and were ready to go to any lengths to achieve his election.

The short interval between the selection of electors and the election of the deputy was spent in continual negotiations between the party committees and the electors. We showed that only a Bolshevik should be elected to the Duma since everything pointed to the fact that the majority of the workers supported the Bolsheviks. The preliminary stages of the elections had gone in our favour. In the first electoral college, four of the electors chosen were from our list, while of the other two only one was definitely a Liquidator, as the other had gone over to the Mensheviks after the elections. The second college was also Bolshevik in sympathy as the endorsement of the instructions showed. We insisted that an accidental distribution of votes should not be made the basis for misrepresenting the will of the majority of the St. Petersburg workers.

None of our arguments had the slightest effect on the Liquidators; and they even rejected the suggestion, made by some Bolsheviks, that unity could be achieved by deciding the question by drawing lots. Neither side made any concessions and both went to the provincial electoral college determined to send their own candidate to the Duma.

The college met on October 20. Four deputies were to be elected to represent the St. Petersburg Gubernia: one for the peasants, two for the landlords and houseowners, and the fourth for the workers. The college was composed of sixty-six electors representing these divisions. The Progressives and the Octobrists were in the majority and had concluded an alliance against the Rights and the Nationalists.

Prince Saltykov, the chairman appointed by the government, read the rules and regulations governing the election proceedings, verified the list of electors and proposed that the election of deputies be commenced. First, a deputy was elected from the peasants’ electors, of whom four were Progressives and one Right. We agreed to vote for the Progressive candidate on condition that, if elected, he would vote with the Social-Democratic fraction on bills concerning the workers. The candidate they nominated was elected. A Progressive was also successful for the houseowners, while an Octobrist was chosen to represent the landlords.

Then the college proceeded with the election of a deputy to represent the workers. All the workers’ electors, both Mensheviks and Bolsheviks, went to the ballot. When the votes were counted, I was declared elected, having received thirty-four votes against twenty-nine. The Liquidators received considerably less votes.

Enraged by their failure, the Liquidators at once opened a slanderous campaign about the way the elections had been conducted, trying in this way to explain away their defeat.


1. The railway connecting Moscow and St. Petersburg (now Leningrad), now called the “October Railway.” – Ed.

2. Luch represented the views of the Mensheviks and Liquidators. – Ed.

3. Actually they were drafted by Co. Stalin – Ed.

4. An allusion to the name of the party of the Cadets (Constitutional Democrats) which called itself also the “Party of the People’s Freedom.” – Ed.

Last updated on 14.9.2011