V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written October 20, 1905, in Geneva and mailed to a local address
Published: First published in 1926 in Lenin Miscellany V. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1977], Moscow, Volume 43, pages 169b-170.
Translated: Martin Parker and Bernard Isaacs
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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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At the comrades’ request I givo here information concerning the Economic Commission in as precise a form as possible.[2]

The Economic Commission consists of comrades specially appointed by the C.C. representative abroad.

At the present time (October 20, 1905) it includes Comrades Bonch-Bruyevich (manager of the printing shop), Kruchinina (treasurer and manager of the forwarding office), Ilyin, Lenina (secretary of the C.C.), Abramov,[1] Knol, Vetchinkin, Ladyzhnikov and Nik. Vasilich.

Generally speaking, the function of the Economic Commission is to handle the business jobs of the Central Committee abroad, and to help the Central Committee in all its work abroad. This applies to the technical end (printing, forwarding, and so forth), finances, transport, sending people to Russia, measures relating to arms, and so on, co-ordinating the work of all C.C. agents, controlling the work of each individual agent, and so on, right up to special assignments from the Central Committee.

The Economic Commission elects its chairman or secretary, etc., and distributes work among its members, with   the exception of the appointment of permanent functionaries (in charge of forwarding, the treasury, the secretariat, printing shop, transport, and so on), which depends on the Central Committee.

Decisions of the Economic Commission may be revoked by the Central Committee or its representative abroad, but are not subject to endorsement by the C.C. unless this is asked for by some member of the Economic Commission or unless objections are raised by anyone.

For the purpose of control over the activities of individual agents of the C.C. (the treasurer, secretary, manager of printing shop, etc.), the Economic Commission appoints comrades from among its members to make a thorough examination of the whole work of the given agent and to report to the Commission on measures to improve his work, and also to check up on the progress of his work from time to time. The only exceptions are special activities or spheres of activity exempted for one or another reason by the Central Committee from control by the Economic Commission. The carrying out of all ordinary and current work undertaken by the C.C. is to be systematically controlled by the Economic Commission.

The Economic Commission helps the Central Committee to direct the activity of the Committee of the Organisations Abroad,[3] not in the form of directives to the latter, since it is an autonomous organisation, but by studying its reports, discussing its work, examining the organisation of its activities and searching for ways of improving it.

If the comrades who asked for a more explicit definition of the functions of the Economic Commission consider it necessary to draw up a detailed statute, the Economic Commission as a whole should discuss this statute, after which it would be endorsed by the C.C.


[1] See Avramov, R. P.—Ed.

[2] After Lenin’s departure for Russia in the beginning of November 1905, the Economic Commission wound up its affairs and sent the library and Party archives to the ad dress of Branting in Stockholm, where they were stored for some time in the People’s House (see this volume, Document 135).

[3] The Committee of the Organisations Abroad (C.O.A.) was elected at a meeting of R.S.D.L.P. groups abroad in December 1911. The composition of the committee changed several times. At the conference of R.S.D.L.P. groups abroad held in Berne from February 27 to March 4, 1915, Nadezhda Krupskaya, Inessa Armand, G. L. Shklovsky, and V. M. Kasparov were elected to it. During the war the committee was in Switzerland where it conducted, under the direct guidance of Lenin, extensive work to co-ordinate the activities of the R.S.D.L.P. sections abroad, to combat the social-chauvinists and to unite the internationalist Left of international Social-Democracy.

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