V. I. Lenin

To Members Of

The Council Of Defence

Written: 1 February, 1920
First Published: First published in 1924; Published according to the manuscript
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1965, Volume 30, page 314
Translated: George Hanna
Transcription/HTML Markup: David Walters & Robert Cymbala
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive (www.marx.org) 2002. Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

February 1, 1920

The situation on the railways is catastrophic in the extreme. The delivery of grain has ceased. Truly urgent measures are needed to save the country. In the course of two months (February and March) the following measures must be effected (and other relevant measures of a similar nature must be sought):

I. The personal bread ration to be reduced for those not working on the railways and increased for those working on them.

Let more thousands perish but the country will be saved.

II. Three-fourths of the leading executives of all departments, except the Commissariats of Food and the Army, to be taken for the railways and for repair work for these two months. The work of other commissariats to be discontinued (or reduced to one-tenth) correspondingly for these two months.

III. Introduce martial law over an area stretching to 30-50 versts on either side of the railway line to mobilise labour to clear the line, and transfer to the volosts within that area three-fourths of all high-ranking functionaries of the volost and uyezd executive committees of the gubernia concerned.