First published in 1933 in Lenin Miscellany XXI.
Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1975, Moscow, Volume 44, pages 79b-80a.
Translated: Clemens Dutt
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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21. IV. 1918
The Narrow Council
In the affair concerning the reorganisation of the Red Cross, which has become known to me through V. M. Bonch-Bruyevich, I strongly advise:
1) that written explanations be demanded
(a) from all members of the committee
(§ 3, section I),
(b) from all departments, which should have sent representatives—
—explanations as to when the committee met, where its minutes are, etc.
It is necessary not only to admonish, but to prosecute a number of persons (they must be found) for non-fulfilment of the decree.
 Lenin’s letter was due to the following circumstance. On January 4 (17), 1918, the Council of People’s Commissars adopted a decree on the reorganisation of the Red Cross on the basis of the abolished Chief Board of the Red Cross that had existed under the tsarist government, making over its property and funds to the state. The work of reorganising the Red Cross was entrusted (§ 3 of Section 1 of the decree) to a committee of representatives of Soviet, military and public organisations. The committee was instructed to submit to the Council of People’s Commissars through the Council of Medical Collegiums a plan for reorganising the Red Cross institutions. However, the committee failed to fulfil the tasks entrusted to it, and this was brought to the notice of Lenin by V. M. Bonch-Bruyevich, a member of the Red Cross committee.