V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written March 5 or 6, 1903
Published: First published in 1928. Sent from Paris to Kharkov. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, pages 146-147.
Translated: Clemens Dutt
Transcription\Markup: D. Moros
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2005). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.README

I have received the letter of the O.C. I suggest answering like this:

In our opinion, the question of the ‘ordre du jour’ stands as follows. This question of the agenda will be definitely settled by the Congress itself, and only by the Congress. Consequently, it is quite useless to dispute about the right to vote on this point. Further, the bulk of the committees have already recognised the ‘exclusive initiative’ of the O.C. in convening the Congress. Hence it follows that the preliminary preparation for the Congress, including preliminary preparation (or propaganda) of the ordre du jour, is exclusively a matter for the Organising Committee. It is, therefore, altogether superfluous to propose that anyone should vote as well on a ‘preliminary’ ordre du jour; it cannot have any decisive significance. Furthermore, it will merely cause both delay and dissatisfaction, for there will be people who will be offended (committees that were not consulted), and people who will inevitably be dissatisfied and complaining. Consequently, from the standpoint of both formal loyalty and tact no formal decision should be taken about collecting the votes of the committees or of anyone at all. It would only undermine the authority of the Organising Committee if it renounces the exclusive initiative entrusted to it.

If it is very inconvenient now to alter an adopted (and formally unexceptionable) decision, there may be, perhaps, the following way out: turn the voting (of the commit tees) into a consultation with them, that is to say, adopt a decision that as far as possible the O.C. will try to make use of meetings and talks for consultation.

Finally, we advise making haste with the Congress. The sooner you convene it, the better. And set to work immediately and more actively preparing the committees, nominating delegates, winning over Nikolayev and Odessa. The important thing is to make perfectly sure of a safe majority of firm Iskrists.”

Nevzorov disgraced himself yesterday, and Charles Rappoport and Krichevsky gave him a dressing down. There were no Iskrists.[1]

I shall be leaving probably on, Sunday. The trains arrive not at 6 but at 3.45 and 10.45. With one of them, probably.



[1] Lenin refers to the dispute following his lecture in Paris on March 3-6 1903, on the agrarian programme of the Socialist-Revolutionaries and the Russian Social-Democrats. Nevzorov (Y. M. Steklov) was one of Lenin’s opponents in this dispute.

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