V. I. Lenin

Plenary Meeting of the R.S.D.L.P. Central Committee{2}

August 11–13 (24–26), 1908

Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 41, pages 216.2-218.1.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) © 2004 Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.
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In view of the fact that attempts are being made to obscure the initial point of the incident under discussion, I categorically declare that at the outset I made a very definite statement of the following:

According to Grigory’s communication Ezra wrote to him that t h e m i n o r b r o t h e r d e n i e s t h e E x i s t e n z r e c h t{1} o f t h e p l e n a r y C. C. It is this communication which has been entirely confirmed by Grigory, and not clearly refuted by Ezra, that constitutes the i l l e g a l i t y of the act by the Mensheviks and the illegality of discussing s u c h questions by the Bund Central Committee. I insist, therefore, on a search for the text of the letter itself.


Motioned on August 12 (25), 1908 Printed from the original
First published in 1933 in Lenin Miscellany XXV



The C.C. authorises the C.C. Bureau Abroad{3} to draw up a detailed report of the so-called incident over the con vocation of the C.C. Plenary Meeting, Ezra’s letters, Pyotr’s statements and all the debates, and have this report preserved in the archives of the Cental Committee, leaving it to the narrow C.C. to publish the report whenever the need arises.

Motioned on August 13 (26), 1908 Printed from the original
First published in 1933 in Lenin Miscellany XXV



1) Social-Democratic groups abroad shall be recognised as R.S.D.L.P. promotion groups.

2) The C.C. shall appoint a new Central Bureau Abroad consisting of 40 persons. In the absence of the C.C. Plenary Meeting, co-optation or substitution shall take place only with the approval of the C.C. Bureau Abroad.

3) The C.B.A. shall cater for the needs of the promotion groups abroad and fulfil general Party assignments from the C.C. Bureau Abroad.

4) The Bureau Abroad shall include one member of the C.C. (by appointment of a Plenary Meeting or the Bureau Abroad) with the right of veto.

5) A congress of all available promotion groups abroad shall be organised as soon as possible under the control of the C.C. Bureau Abroad.

6) The standing rules of the congress shall be approved by the C.C. Bureau Abroad.

7) The C.C. Bureau Abroad is authorised to take all steps to make the congress an occasion for unifying all non-Russian Social-Democratic groups abroad into integrated local R.S.D.L.P. promotion groups. The C.C. Bureau   Abroad shall contact all the Central Committees of non-Russian Social-Democratic organisations on this question.

8) The groups shall pay 85–90 per cent of their receipts into the C.C. fund. The right to grant exemption in case of dire necessity (for instance, expenditures on émigrés) shall belong to the C.C. Bureau Abroad.

Motioned on August 13 (26), 1908 Printed from the original
First published in 1938 in Lenin Miscellany XXV


{1} The right to exist.—Ed.

{2} A Plenary Meeting of the R.S.D.L.P. Central Committee was held at Geneva from August 11 to 13 (24 to 26), 1908, and was attended by 12 persons, live Bolsheviks (V. I. Lenin, I. F. Dubrovinsky and V. K. Taratuta among them), three Mensheviks, one Latvian Social-Democrat, one Polish Social-Democrat and two Bundists. On the agenda were these questions: 1) report on the convocation of the Plenary Meeting; 2) all-Russia conference; 3) Central Bureau Abroad and promotion groups; 4) organisation of the Central Committee; 5) financial matters; 6) report of the C.C. to the Stuttgart Congress; and 7) current business.

At the Plenary Meeting the Bolsheviks administered a resolute rebuff to the Menshevik efforts to do away with the Party’s Central Committee and to frustrate the convocation of a Party conference. The Plenary Meeting adopted decisions on the main items of the agenda as motioned by the Bolsheviks. On Lenin’s proposal, it was decided to start work right away on the convocation of a conference, whose agenda was outlined. The Plenary Meeting adopted Bolshevik resolutions on the organisation of the Central Commit tee and on the establishment of a Central Bureau Abroad, the latter being based on Lenin’s “Draft Resolution on the Organisation of the Central Bureau Abroad” (pp. 217–18). Lenin was elected to the C.O. Editorial Board from the Bolsheviks.

The report on the convocation of the Plenary Meeting was discussed together with the question of organising the Central Committee, for it was learned during the debate that the Mensheviks had been in correspondence with the Bund and that they had actually proposed to liquidate the C.C. as the Party’s governing body under the pretext of “reorganising” it. At the Plenary Meeting itself, the Mensheviks and the Bundists tried hard to cover up the fact. It was in this connection that Lenin handed in his special “Statement on the Convocation of the C.C. Plenary Meeting” and motioned the “Draft Resolution on the Incident over the Convocation of the C.C. Plenary Meeting” which the Plenary Meeting adopted (pp. 216, 217).

After the Plenary Meeting, the Bolsheviks, led by Lenin, started a broad campaign in preparation for an all-Russia Party conference. p. 216

{3} The R.S.D.L.P. Central Committee Bureau Abroad (C.C.B.A.) was set up by the R.S.D.L.P. Central Committee Plenary Meeting in August 1908 as a three-man body representing the Party abroad under the Central Committee’s Bureau in Russia. Its duty was to maintain contacts with the Central Committee in Russia   and its members working abroad, supervise the activity of R.S.D.L.P. promotion groups abroad and their Central Bureau, collect dues or the C.C. fund from organisations abroad and organise the collection of money for the Central Committee. In order to unite all the promotion groups abroad and to subordinate them to a single general Party leadership the August 1908 Plenary Meeting of the Central Committee authorised the C.C.B.A. to hold a special congress of these groups, which it failed to do in 1900 because of stubborn resistance from the Central Bureau of the promotion groups abroad, where the Menshevik liquidators were in control. The January 1910 Plenary Meeting of the Central Committee reorganised the C.C.B.A. and limited its role in directing the Party’s general affairs, correspondingly increasing that of the Central Committee Bureau in Russia. The C.C.B.A. was to have five members, three of them representing the Central Committees of hon-Russian national organisations. A stable liquidationist majority war formed in the Central Committee Bureau Abroad and it did everything to disrupt the work of the central Party bodies, Its anti-Party stand was most clearly revealed in the systematic obstruction to the calling of a C.C. Plenary Meeting, which the Bolsheviks were trying to secure in view of the liquidators’ failure to fulfill the decisions of the C.C.’s January Plenary Meeting. The C.C.B.A.’s liquidationist tactics made the Bolshevik representative Semashko resign from the C.C.B.A. in May 1911.

The meeting of R.S.D.L.P. C.C. members called in Paris in June 1911 adopted a decision condemning the C.C.B.A.’s political line and referred the question of its continued existence to the next Plenary Meeting of the R.S.D.L.P. Central Committee.

In November 1911, the Polish Social-Democratic representative was recalled from the C.C.B.A., and he was followed by the Latvian Social-Democrat. The C.C.B.A. dissolved itself in January 1912. p. 217

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