V. I.   Lenin



To the Odessa Committee

Published: First published in 1928. Sent from Geneva. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, pages 171-172.
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.
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October 1, 1903

Dear comrades,

We too sincerely regret that a difference of opinion has arisen between the Odessa Committee and Iskra on the subject of factory stewards.[1] Our delay in replying to the letter of the Odessa Committee was due mainly to the fact that the editors were absent at the time. Generally speaking, the obstacle in this case (strange as it may seem) was the Second Congress of the Party.

As regards the essence of the matter, incidentally, a resolution was adopted at the Congress recommending participation in the election of factory stewards.

[Quote the text: resolution No. 28.]

This resolution was passed by a huge majority, and we think that matters can be put right, although it will take time. The Odessa Committee should immediately disseminate (without publishing) the text of this resolution among all organised workers and explain it to them. Later, when the resolution is published, it would be desirable for a leaflet to be issued over the signature of the Odessa Committee setting out the Party view on the question and calling on the workers to follow the tactics approved by the whole Party.

As regards the substance of the matter, we find that constant agitation in connection with the election of stewards would have a much greater educational and organising significance than agitation carried out once only—in connection with refusal to elect. And your own reports, about patriarchal methods confirm this, pointing to the   need for a constant struggle against espionage laws and methods of spying.

We fully concur with your desire for a more frequent exchange of opinions so as to avoid differences of opinion and contradictory statements in agitation. Write more often, not only for the press, and see to it that addresses (for letters to you) are effective regularly.

We shall try to write a leaflet on the connection between the economic and the political struggle, if only other work does not interfere.

We are publishing the manifesto of Rabochaya Volya[2] in full, as you desired.



[1] The law on factory stewards was passed on June 10, 1903. Lenin dealt in detail with this law in his article “An Era of Reforms” (see Vol. 6 of this edition).

[2] Manifesto of Rabochaya Volya—a declaration by the Odessa Social-Democratic Union Rabochaya Volya recognising the correctness of Iskra views and tactics, announcing adherence to the Odessa Committee of the R.S.D.L.P and closing the Union as a result of it. The Manifesto was published in Iskra No. 50 for October 15, 1903.

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