Pravda No. 44, May 12 (April 29), 1917.
Published according to the text in Pravda.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1964, Moscow, Volume 24, pages 330-331.
Translated: Isaacs Bernard
Transcription\Markup: B. Baggins and D. Walters
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In connection with the report that several ex-ministers had accepted directorships of big banks, Pravda asked:
“In how many banks do the present ministers, Guchkov, Tereshchenko, and Konovalov—have an interest (in the capacity of directors, shareholders, or actual owners)?”
“Our comrades, the bank employees (who, by the way, should organise a union of their own as soon as possible), would do well to gather material on this subject and publish it in the labour press.”
Alarmed by this, Birzheviye Vedomosti, a paper which, as we know, savours strongly of banks, writes:
“The ‘comrades employees’ are asked to organise a detective service, to rummage about in the tills of the bourgeois ministers for the purpose of checking the cash in them. With the same effrontery the Bolsheviks are rummaging about in other people’s convictions. May we not soon see Pravda advising the comrades to set up a secret police department of their own. Room for it will be found in the Kshesinskaya mansion....”
Why are the gentlemen from Birzheviye Vedomosti so perturbed?
What has “detective service” got to do with it, gentlemen?
We have nothing whatever against the bank employees publishing lists of bank bosses of all parties. Why, gentlemen, shouldn’t the people have a right to know who are the chief owners of such institutions as the banks—those powerful institutions on which the country’s whole economic life depends, and which have such a say in deciding the. issues of war and peace?
What are you afraid of, gentlemen?
[Banks and Ministers] —Lenin