V. I.   Lenin


To:   THE C.C. OF THE R.C.P.(B.)[2]

Written: Written on May 3, 1918
Published: First published in 1933 in Lenin Miscellany XXI. Printed from-the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1975, Moscow, Volume 44, pages 83c-84a.
Translated: Clemens Dutt
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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1) The proposal of Comrades Spiridonova and Karelin is that the Bolsheviks should surrender to the Left S.R.s absolute control of the Commissariat for Agriculture, with the Bolsheviks retaining only political representation.

2) The grounds for this proposal are that, in the opinion of Comrades Spiridonova and Karelin, the Commissariat for Agriculture is going to pieces, work is becoming impossible for the Left S.R.s, they will all be compelled to leave, because—it is alleged—they are being “ousted”, etc.

3) The meeting (of Lenin with the Bolsheviks from the Agriculture Board) refers the question raised by the S.R.s to the C.C. of the Party for decision. For its part, the meeting considers the arguments of the S.R.s groundless and their proposal unacceptable.[1]


[1] The text of point 3 is in the handwriting of V. N. Meshcheryakov. The document is signed by V. N. Meshcheryakov, S. P. Sereda, and N. M. Petrovsky.—Ed.

[2] This memorandum was adopted at a meeting of Lenin and Bolshevik members of the Board of the People’s Commissariat for Agriculture in connection with the demand of Maria Spiridonova and V. A. Karelin, leaders of the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, that the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries be given complete control of the People’s Commissariat for Agriculture. This demand was put forward because of the appointment of more Bolsheviks (S. P. Sereda, V. N. Meshcheryakov, N. M. Petrovsky and others) to the Commissariat for Agriculture following the resignation of A. L. Kolegayev, as a result of which the position of the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries in the Commissariat was considerably weakened.

Lenin wrote also the following draft decision of the meeting: “The preliminary meeting (on the questions raised by Comrades Spiridonova and Karelin) between members of the Board of Agriculture, Comrades Sereda and Meshcheryakov, and Lenin has reached the conclusion that the questions raised should be examined 33 serious political questions and therefore should certainly be referred to the C.C., R.C.P.

The meeting considers it essential to refer them to the C.C. urgently and speedily” (Lenin Miscellany XXXVI, p. 42).

The situation in the People’s Commissariat for Agriculture was discussed at a sitting of the C.C., R.C.P.(B.) on May 3, 1918. The Central Committee noted that the claims of the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries were groundless and approved the decision of the meeting.

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