V. I.   Lenin

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

April 10 (23)-April 25 (May 8), 1906



Dissenting Opinion on the Composition of the Parliamentary Group of the R.S.D.L.P.


Regarding the rejection of Stodolin’s[1] amendment as a departure even from the principles of parliamentarism, I declare that I am submitting a dissenting opinion on this question.


In accordance with the declaration I have already submitted, I enclose herewith my dissenting opinion on the question of Stodolin’s amendment.

In his amendment, Comrade Stodolin proposed that the official parliamentary group of the R.S.D.L.P. should consist exclusively of Party members who not only work in one of the Party organisations, and not only submit to the Party as a whole, and to their Party organisations in particular, but who, in addition, have been put up as candidates by the latter (i.e., the respective Party organisations).

Consequently Comrade Stodolin wanted our first Social-Democratic steps on the path of parliamentarism to be taken exclusively on the direct instructions of the respective organisations, and in their name. It is not enough that members of the parliamentary group should belong to one of the Party organisations. In view of the conditions prevailing in Russia, this does not preclude the most undesirable incidents, for our Party organisations cannot exercise open and   public control over their members. It is highly important therefore that our first steps on the path of parliamentarism should be accompanied by every precaution devised by the experience of the socialist parties in Europe. The West-European parties, and particularly their Left wings, even insist on parliamentary candidates being nominated by the local party organisations by agreement with the Central Committees. The revolutionary Social-Democrats in Europe have very serious grounds for demanding this triple control over their members of parliament: first, the general control that the party exercises over all its members; secondly, the special control of the local organisations who nominate the parliamentary candidates in their own name; and thirdly, the special control of the Central Committee, which, standing above local influences and local conditions, must see to it that only such parliamentary candidates are nominated as satisfy general party and general political requirements.

By rejecting Comrade Stodolin’s amendment, by rejecting the demand that the parliamentary group should consist exclusively of those whom the Party organisations had directly nominated as parliamentary candidates, by rejecting this demand, the Congress has revealed far less prudence in parliamentary tactics than the West-European revolutionary Social-Democrats. And yet there can hardly be any doubt that, in view of the especially difficult conditions prevailing in Russia for the public activities of the Social-Democrats, we unquestionably require far greater prudence than that prompted by the experience of the revolutionary Social-Democrats of Western Europe.



[1] Stodolin—the Bolshevik N. N. Nakoryakov.

  Statement in Support of Muratov’s (Morozov’s) Amendment Concerning a Parliamentary Social-Democratic Group | Resolution on the Accountability of the Credentials Committee to the Congress  

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