V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written on April 8, 1919
Published: First published in 1942 in Lenin Miscellany XXXIV. Printed from the typewritten text signed by Lenin.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1975, Moscow, Volume 44, page 209a.
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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Uyezd Land Department
Copy to Knyaginin Second Zapyansk Society

Compulsory measures of any kind to make the peasants pass over to the communal working of the fields are impermissible. Non-observance of this will be punished with all the severity of revolutionary law.[2]

Chairman, Council of People’s Commissars[1]



[1] The telegram was signed also by S. P. Sereda, People’s Commissar for Agriculture.—Ed.

[2] This telegram was sent in connection with a report from Knyaginin Uyezd, Nizhni-Novgorod Gubernia, addressed to Lenin at the Council of People’s Commissars, stating that the local authorities were forcibly making the peasants join artels and communes.

The telegram was drafted in the People’s Commissariat for Agriculture.

On April 10, 1919, the following circular letter, signed by Lenin and Sereda, was published in Izvestia:

To all Gubernia Land Departments.

Copies to Executive Committees.

Information has reached the People’s Commissariat for Agriculture that for the purpose of organising state farms, communes and other collective associations, the land departments and state farm boards, contrary to the intent of Article 9 of the Regulations on Socialist Organisation of Agriculture, are taking away from the peasants the lands of former landowners’ estates which had been made over to them. The impermissibility of such practices is hereby confirmed. Lands being worked by peasants at the time of the publication of the Regulations on Socialist Organisation of Agriculture, and which were put at their disposal on the basis   of decisions or instructions of uyezd or gubernia land departments, may not on any account be forcibly alienated for the purpose of organising state farms, communes or other collective associations. The alienation of lands from the peasants for the sake of the above-mentioned organisations is permissible only by voluntary consent by way of land tenure regulation. Measures of coercion to make the peasants practise joint cultivation and join communes and other types of collective farming are impermissible. The transition to collective forms is to be carried out only in strict conformity with the Regulations, without any compulsion on the part of the authorities. Non-fulfilment of the present instruction will be punished in accordance with the laws of the revolutionary period. Inform the population of the present instruction as widely as possible.

Lenin “Chairman, Council of People’s Commissars

Sereda “People’s Commissar for Agriculture

“April 9, 1919.”

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