Written: Written at the end of March-beginning of April 1905
Published: First published in 1931 in Lenin Miscellany XVI. Published according to the manuscript.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1962, Moscow, Volume 8, pages 260-261.
Translated: Bernard Isaacs and The Late Isidor Lasker
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2003). 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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Comrades, you all know what a distressing crisis our Party has been passing through these past eighteen months and more. Ever since the Second Party Congress, owing to a series of deplorable circumstances, the central bodies of our Party abroad—the Editorial Board of the Central Organ and the Council—have come under the control of the adherents of the Party Congress Minority. The dissatisfaction among our Party workers continued to grow and developed into a concealed, intense struggle, which seriously hampered the entire activity of Social-Democracy and impaired the prestige of the proletarian party. Seeing the harm this secret split was causing, the Party committees began to demand the convening of the Third Congress as the only party way out of the crisis. The struggle for the Congress has been the vitalising breath of the Party activities since the spring of 1904. The Party Council abroad opposed the idea of the Congress in every way it could. The Central Committee sought to meet the demands of the Minority in the matter of co-optation in the hope thereby to restore peace within the Party. But this hope was dashed. Instead of peace being restored, the struggle was intensified.
The ensuing great events in the development of the working-class movement and the revolution in Russia, the events of January 9 and its after effects, created a new situation which taxed the Party’s powers and energies still more. For the overwhelming majority of the Party workers in Russia the Congress became a pressing need. The resistance of the Council abroad resulted in the election by a number of committees in Russia of a special Bureau for convening the Party Congress. Under the circumstances the C.C. deemed it its party duty to join the Bureau of Committees of the Majority for the immediate convening of the Party Congress.
The need for the Congress, even from a narrow formal point of view, is borne out by the following. The members of the Party learned from issue No. 89 of Iskra that, apart from the central bodies, the Party Council considered 33 organisations qualified. Consequently, even on this count (disputed by a large number of Party workers, who set the number of Party organisations at 31) 38 votes were required to make the convocation of the Congress obligatory (33x2=66; 66+9=75; 75 : 2=37 1/2 ½).
The thirteen committees that elected the Bureau of Committees of the Majority have long since declared for the Congress. The 13 have been joined by the committees of the Urals, Tula, Voronezh, Samara, the North-West, Smolensk, Kharkov, and Kazan, i.e., by 8 committees. These 21 committees, together with the four votes of the C.C. (two votes of the C.C. itself and two of its delegates on the Council), give 42+4=46 votes.