V. I.   Lenin

The Fifth Congress of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party

April 30-May 19 (May 13-June 1), 1907



Statement of May 11 (24)[1]

The bureau was right (Voice: “Of course it was!”) when it explained that it was impermissible to revoke yesterday’s decision. In order to revoke it, there must be a special decision of the Congress with regard to the permissibility of putting such a proposal to the vote. In the present case no one proposed revoking yesterday’s decision. It still remains in force. Is deferment permissible? Abramovich lost sight of the most important thing, namely, that the question of tabling the decision was the result of new circumstances (the motive given by the Latvians), which arose after yesterday’s voting on the directives. This is the new motive which Abramovich failed to take into account. Hence Werner’s proposal is formally correct.



[1] Lenin made this statement at the twentieth session of the Congress when the resolution on the report of the Social-Democratic group in the Second State Duma was approved. A commission had been appointed to draw up the resolution; it consisted of ten members, two representatives from each group at the Congress. Four draft resolutions were submitted to the commission—from the Bolsheviks, Mensheviks, Polish Social-Democrats and the Bund. The commission did not accept any of the proposals submitted, or examine any draft as a whole but discussed the questions of: (1) whether the resolution should contain political instructions f or the group; (2) whether all the errors of the group should be listed; (3) the question of trusting the group. A resolution was then drawn up by the commission but was not approved by a majority. At its nineteenth session (May 10 1231) the Congress, therefore, again discussed the same questions. The Bolshevik proposal to include instructions to the group in the resolution was rejected because the Latvian Social-Democrats voted against it. The next day, May 11 (24), at the twentieth session, Werner (T. P. Kalnin), representative of the Latvian Social-Democrats, tabled a motion that the discussion of the resolution on the Duma group be postponed until   the question of the attitude to bourgeois parties and that of the State Duma had been discussed. In justification of his proposal he said that part of the Latvian delegation had voted against the directives to the group at the nineteenth session because these directives would not be clear to them until the questions of bourgeois parties and the State Duma had been discussed.

The presidium of the Congress submitted this question to the Congress f or discussion, considering that Werner’s proposal would not change the decision on the directives that had been adopted on the previous day. Lenin supported the Latvian Social-Democrats. The Mensheviks and the Bund members spoke not only against Werner’s proposal but against his presentation of the question.

The Congress, however, decided by a majority of 149 against 144, with three abstaining, the delegates voting by name, that it would be necessary to give directives to the group after the discussion on the attitude to bourgeois parties and on the State Duma.

  Statement of Fact, May 10 (23) | Speech on the Attitude Towards Bourgeois Parties May 12 (25)  

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