V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written on July 19, 1912
Published: First published in 1933 in Lenin Miscellany XXV. Sent from Cracow to St. Petersburg. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1976], Moscow, Volume 35, pages 40-41.
Translated: Andrew Rothstein
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive.   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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Dear Colleague,

I send you one more article by I. Gylka. The author reminds you that he is expecting an advance.

It is urgently necessary to reply to him immediately (you can do it through me, but without fail on a separate sheet). The author lives in Lemberg, makes a special study of his subject, and such a contributor should be drawn in. Once again I advise you to pay him an advance, and in any case to reply to him at once.

N.B. If Gylka’s articles are not accepted, return them at once without fail!

We have received the parcel, and cannot help complaining.

Of the books, only one! Write and say why. Did other members of the staff take the rest of the books received? Have they taken them for long, or for good? If so, you ought to arrange to send them to us for a time. We repeat that without books we cannot work.

The office should be more careful about this.

We received the Voter’s Handbook two and a half weeks after publication! Yet to send it at once would have cost 5 kopeks....

There has been a delay with the papers, after all. We are stuck here without newspapers, and we shall be without them for another two or three days.

I would very much advise you to send a reporter to the City Council, find out how many applications[1] they are getting from tenants and set about publishing this systematically (encouraging successful districts and appealing to the unsuccessful). Very little time is left, and the paper should make itself responsible for the whole business.

You should get from the City Council, through any statisticians among your acquaintances (or officially from the editors and the members of the State Duma), all the statistical material (if they don’t exist, then buy Rech[3] for those years and months, or some other paper) about the elections to the First, Second and Third State Duma + Petersburg statistics (housing, population, etc.). With such material in your hands, and with an intelligent reporter visiting the City Council daily or 2–3 times a week, you can run a good section in the paper about the course of the elections.

Do you send Pravda to the Wiener Arbeiter-Zeitung[4] in Vienna? Send it, and send it to us as well by wrapper.

I advise you to reply to Trotsky through the post: “To Trotsky (Vienna). We shall not reply to disruptive and slanderous letters.” Trotsky’s dirty campaign against Pravda is one mass of lies and slander. The well-known Marxist and follower of Plekhanov, Rothstein (London), has written to us that he received Trotsky’s slanders and replied to him: I cannot complain of the Petersburg Pravda in any way. But this intriguer and liquidator goes on lying, right and left.

Yours faithfully,
V. Ulyanov

P.S. It would be still better to reply in this way to Trotsky through the post: “To Trotsky (Vienna). You are wasting your time sending us disruptive and slanderous letters. They will not be replied to.”


[1] From what districts? streets? etc., as detailed as possible.—Lenin

[2] Pravda (Truth)–the first legal mass workers’ daily in Russia. The first issue appeared in St. Petersburg on May 5, 1912.

Pravda played a key role in the history of the Bolshevik Party and the revolution. It was a collective propagandist, agitator and organiser in the struggle to put the Party’s policy into practice. As a centre of the campaign for Party principles, it fought resolutely against the Menshevik liquidators, otzovists and Trotskyists and opposed international opportunism. Pravda helped to build a firm foundation for a mass Bolshevik party.

Lenin guided the policy of Pravda, which published 270 of his articles. The paper was closed down eight times by the tsarist government but continued to appear under fresh names: Rabochaya Pravda (Workers’ Truth), = Severnaya Pravda (Northern Truth), = Pravda Truda (Truth of Labour), = Za Pravdu (For Truth), = Proletarskaya Pravda (Proletarian Truth), = Put Pravdy (Path of Truth), = Rabochy (The Worker), = and Trudovaya Pravda (Labour Truth). Before the outbreak of the First World War, on July 21, 1914, the paper was banned and did not recommence publication until after the February bourgeois-democratic revolution of 1917.

On March 18, 1917, Pravda began appearing as the organ of the Central and Petrograd Committees of the R.S.D.L.P. On April 18, upon his return from abroad, Lenin joined the editorial board and became its leading spirit. Between July and October 1917, the paper was persecuted by the bourgeois Provisional Government and had frequently to change its name, appearing as Listok Pravdy (Pravda’s News Sheet), = Proletary (The Proletarian), = Rabochy (The Worker), and = Rabochy Put (Workers’ Path). After the victory of the October Socialist Revolution, on November 9, 1917, the Party’s central organ began appearing under its original name Pravda.

[3] Rech (Speech)—daily newspaper, central organ of the Constitutional-Democratic Party; appeared in St. Petersburg from February 1906 to October 1917.

[4] Wiener Arbeiter-Zeitung (Vienna Workers’ Newspaper)—daily newspaper, central organ of the Austrian Social-Democratic Party, founded by Victor Adler in Vienna in 1889. Banned in 1934, it resumed publication in 1945 as the central organ of the Socialist Party of Austria.

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