V. I.   Lenin


Written: Written between December 17 and 23, 1919
Published: First published in 1928 in Lenin Miscellany VIII. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, page 517.
Translated: Andrew Rothstein
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.README


In my opinion, this should be added:

1) drawing up a protocol is not as yet a “complaint”, but only an exact record of the beginning of the dispute. The best way to avoid a complaint is to secure an exact reply or immediate performance;

2) by this means we can and should secure rapid decisions ire substance, without red tape, namely: by proposing a short method of solution on the spot, proposing it officially (“collect the material in such-and-such a place, I suggest that an order be placed at such-and-such an office, I request that such-and-such be done to avoid bureaucratic delay”); such a statement or request will greatly assist the centre in combating red tape;

3) against the Council of People’s Commissars and the Council of Defence[2] to go to the All-Russia Central Executive Committee;

4) after endorsement by the C.P.C., publish an article (with examples; chew it up) in Bednota.



[1] Written on the following occasion: on December 13, 1919, telegram No. 927 was sent by the Central Board of State Associations of Machine-Building Plants to the Council of Defence asking that the Kulebaki and Vyksa factories should be supplied with fodder in connection with their work on defence orders. They said that their exercise of the right of procuring fodder on their own had been futile because of red tape in the Commissariat for Food and the unfriendly attitude and arbitrary action on the part of local gubernia food committees.

Having examined the request on December 17, 1919, the Council of Defence 1) adopted a decision on measures to assure the said factories of fodder and 2) instructed D. I. Kursky to draft an additional circular concerning the undeviating fulfilment of the laws passed by the Sixth Congress of Soviets with a popular explanation which Kursky was to submit for the next sitting of the Council of People’s Commissars. His draft submitted to the Council on December 23 already included all of Lenin’s additions proposed in his note to Kursky.

On December 23, 1919, the draft was examined by the Council of People’s Commissars, which decided: to circulate the draft to the commissars for their opinion and, in the absence of objections, to submit it to Lenin for signature. The decree was signed   on December 30, 1919 (see Sobraniye Uzakoneny... No. 1–2 for 1920).

[2] Council of Defence (Council of Workers’ and Peasants’ Defence) was formed under a decision of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee on November 30, 1918, to direct the defence of the Soviet Republic. The decision set before the Council the task of implementing the All-Russia C.E.C. decree of September 2, 1918, which declared the Soviet Republic a military camp, and instituting a military regime in transport and food supply, and also in the war industry. It was vested with full powers in mobilising men and resources for defence. The Council directed the supply of the front with reinforcements, arms, food and clothes.

Lenin was at the head of the Council, on which were representatives of the All-Russia C.E.C., the Revolutionary Military Council of the Republic, the Extraordinary Commission for Supplies, the People’s Commissariat for Communications, the People’s Commissariat for Food, and the All-Russia Central Council of Trade Unions.

In early April 1920, following the elimination of the main fronts, the Council of Defence was transformed into the Council of Labour and Defence, and on December 29, 1920, with the Civil War over, the Eighth All-Russia Congress of Soviets turned it into a commission of the Council of People’s Commissars, in which capacity it operated until the end of 1937.

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