V. I.   Lenin

The Salaries of High-Ranking Office Employees and Officials

Draft Decree for the C.P.C.[1]

Written: November 18 (December 1), 1917
Published: First published in 1933 in Lenin Miscellany XXI. Printed from the manuscript.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, 2nd English Edition, Progress Publishers, 1965, Moscow, Volume 42, pages 37b-38a.
Translated: Bernard Isaacs
Transcription\Markup: D. Walters
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2003). 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.README

Recognising the need for energetic measures to reduce the salaries of high-ranking office employees and officials in all state, public and private institutions and enterprises, the Council of People’s Commissars decrees:

1) that the salary limit for people’s commissars be fixed at 500 rubles a month where there are no children, and 100 rubles extra for each child; housing to be at the   rate of not more than 1 room for each member of the family; 2) that all local Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies be asked to prepare and carry out revolutionary measures to impose special taxes on high-ranking employees; 3) that the Ministry for Finance be instructed to draft a general law concerning this reduction; 4) that the Ministry for Finance and all the respective commissars be instructed to immediately study the estimates of the ministries and cut all excessively high salaries and pensions.


[1] This draft was written at a meeting of the Council of People’s Commissars during the discussion of the question of salaries for People’s Commissars and was adopted with slight amendments. It was published as a decree of the C.P.C. “Remuneration for People’s Commissars and High-Ranking Office Employees and Officials” on November23 (December 6), 1917, in Gazeta Vremennogo Rabochego i Krestyanskogo Pravitelstva (Newspaper of the Provisional Workers’ and Peasants’ Government) No. 16.

The question of remuneration for specialists was subsequently revised by the Party and the Soviet Government. The decree of the C.P.C. of January 2 (15), 1918, on “Rates of Pay for High Ranking Officials” (see p. 52 of this volume) specified that the restriction in salaries for People’s Commissars did not imply a ban on higher rates of pay for specialists. The need for making this change in the general system of remuneration was recognised in a decision of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee dated April 29, 1918.

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