V. I.   Lenin

The Third Congress of the R.S.D.L.P.

April 12 (25)-April 27 (May 10), 1905



Speech on the Qualifiedness of the Kazan and Kuban Committees

April 14 (27)

The findings of the Credentials Committee show that the Party is represented by a total number of 75 votes, so that our Congress, as now constituted, must beyond a doubt be recognised as valid. Considering the present attitude of suspicion towards the Congress, we must recognise as commendable the “liberal” tendency of the Credentials Committee to confirm the largest possible number of committees in order to increase the lawful majority necessary for the Congress. From this angle I am even ready to express my sympathy with such “liberality”. But, on the other hand, one must be equally careful and impartial towards all, and for that reason I feel constrained to oppose the Credentials Committee’s confirmation of the Kazan and Kuban committees. They are included in the list of qualified committees published in issue No. 89 of Iskra, but not in the list recorded in the minutes of the Party Council. At the Council session Comrade Martov read the list of qualified committees valid until September 1, 1904.

(An excerpt from the minutes of the Party Council follows):

“Martov reads his resolution: According to Clause 2 of the Rules, the Party Council is obligated to convene a congress when this is demanded by Party organisations commanding aggregately at least half the total voting strength of the congress. According to Note I to Clause 3, only organisations duly confirmed after the adoption of the Party Rules shall be entitled to representation at a congress.

“Organisations not represented at the Second Congress are to be considered confirmed, if their confirmation by the C.C. was accorded   not later than one year prior to the Congress. (I) The Party Council resolves that ally organisation which shall have been confirmed within the specified period of time shall be entitled to have its vote counted at the computation of the number of organisations that have gone on record in favour of convening the Congress. The organisations represent ed at the Second Congress and elected by it shall be considered qualified organisations. (II) In view of this, only the following organisations shall hereafter and until September 1904 be entitled to vote on the question of convening a congress: (1) the C.C.; (2) the Central Organ; (3) the League Abroad; (4-20) the committees of St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kharkov, Kiev, Odessa, Nikolayev, of the Don region, of Ekaterinoslav, Saratov, Ufa (now the Ural region), of the North, of Tula, Tver, Nizhni-Novgorod, Baku, Batum, and Tiflis (until the expiration of one year from the time of the confirmation of the Caucasian League); (21-23) the League of the Mining and Metal District (Donets), and the Siberian and the Crimean leagues.

“The qualifledness of these organisations assumed, the number of votes they are entitled to cast at the Congress is 46. With the 5 votes of the Party Council members, the total voting strength of the Congress is 51; therefore, to convene a congress 26 votes are required, viz., the votes of 13 of the above-named qualified organisations. The C.C. is requested to furnish the Party Council with the dates of its confirmation of the new committees since the Congress.”

The first part of the resolution was adopted unanimously.

Later in his speech at that meeting, Comrade Glebov read out a list of the newly-formed committees.

Comrade Glebov’s speech (from the minutes of the Party Council):

“I agree with Comrade Martov and would like to state that the following new committees have been organised: Smolensk and Astrakhan, confirmed in September 1903; Voronezh (the Fund for the Struggle), in January 1904; Biga, in January; Polesye, in April; North-Western, in April; Kursk, in January; Orel-Bryansk, in September 1903; Samara, in September 1903; Ural (Ufa), in April.”

These facts were made public in Comrade Orlovsky’s pamphlet The Council Against the Party, and so far the Council has neither refuted them nor published the dates of the confirmation of the committees under dispute, which would seem to indicate that there is no evidence of such confirmation. At the stated meeting of the Party Council, Comrade Martov declared in one of his speeches that in his opinion two more committees were to be confirmed in August, namely, the Kremenchug and Poltava committees—but again not a word about the Kazan and Kuban committees.

After the July declaration, Comrade Glebov sent me the full minutes of the C.C. meetings, in which no reference is made to the confirmation of either the Kazan or the Kuban Committee; at subsequent C.C. meetings, as Comrade Letnev,[1] a member of the C.C., has testified, there was like wise no mention of their confirmation. True, Comrade Zimin,[2] a member of the C.C., has a hazy recollection of the Kazan and Kuban committees having been confirmed, but he can state nothing definite.

The Credentials Committee’s decision to recognise these committees as qualified on the evidence of their having functioned for over a year, is not correct, and I move, therefore, that these committees be declared non-qualified.



[1] Letnev—A. I. Lyubimov.

[2] Zimin—L. B. Krasin.

  Speech on the Validity of the Congress | Draft Resolution on the Attitude of the R.S.D.L.P. Towards the Armed Uprising  

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