V. I.   Lenin

Note to G. V. Chicherin and Decision of the Politbureau of the C.C., R.C.P.(B.) on Relations with the Entente Countries

Written: Written in September, not before 26, 1919
Published: First published in 1965 in the Fifth Russian Edition of the Collected Works, Vol. 54. Printed from the manuscript.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, 2nd English Edition, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 42, page 144a.
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.
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Comrade Chicherin,

I am sending you the decision of the Politbureau[2]



(1) Certainly.

(2) Not in the name of the Government.

(3) Hasten Litvinov’s departure.

(4) Confine ourselves to Gorky’s letter, but not allow him to use the argument about the struggle being turned into annihilation.

Members of the Politbureau: Lenin[1]


[1] The decision was signed also by Kamenev, Trotsky and Krestinsky (the latter with the stipulation “I agree reservedly”)—Ed.

[2] The decision of the Politbureau accompanying Lenin’s note was adopted in connection with Chicherin’s letter to Lenin dated September 26, 1919, in which Chicherin asked for instruc-tions on the following points: 1) could an appeal he made without the decision of the C.C. of the R.C.P.(B.) to the workers of the Entente countries to bring pressure to bear on their Governments not to interfere in the Soviet state’s negotiations with the Baltic states for concluding peace treaties? 2) Should we make new peace proposals to the Entente countries in the name of the Soviet Government? “This,” wrote Chicherin, “would be construed as a sign of weakness .... On the other hand, it would give an opening to the opponents of intervention, especially to the trade unions”; 3) Could we take advantage of Litvinov’s proposed trip to a neutral country to negotiate an exchange of prisoners of war with the English representatives in order to “throw out a feeler on the question of peace”? 4) In the event of Litvinov’s mission being a failure would it be worth while asking A.M. Gorky, who intended to make an appeal for peace, to mention in his letter “our invariable desire for peace and to point out to the Governments of the Entente the risk of the struggle being turned into annihilation”? (underlined by Lenin). “However,” wrote Chicherin, “we should much prefer an official peace proposal...” (Central Party Archives, Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the C.C. of the C.P.S.U.). On this question see also V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, Volume 51, Fifth Russian Edition, Document 85.

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