V. I. Lenin

Remarks on and Addenda to Drafts for

Rules for the Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspection

Written: 24 January, 1920
First Published: First published in 1928;Published according to the manuscript
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1965, Volume 30, pages 300-301
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

To Comrade Stalin. Copies to Avanesov and Tomsky, and also to Kiselyov, Member of the Presidium of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee

On the basis of directive given by the Central Committee[1] the three drafts should, in my opinion, be worked up into one.

I think you should add:

(1) The “Department” of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspection at the State Control Commission should be a temporary one for the purpose of involving the Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspection in all departments of the State Control Commission, and should then disappear as a special department.

(2) Purpose: all working people, both men and particularly women, should serve in the Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspection.

(3) For this draw up lists in the localities (in accordance with the Constitution), excluding clerks, etc.

--all others in turn to participate in the Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspection.

(4) Participation to vary according to the degree of development of the participants—beginning with the role of “listener”, or witness, or learner for the illiterate and completely undeveloped workers and peasants, and ending with the granting of all rights (or almost all) to the literate and developed who have been tested in some way or another.

(5) Pay special attention to (and make strictly precise rules for), and extend control by the Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspection over accounting for food, goods, warehouses, tools, materials, fuel, etc., etc. (in dining-rooms, etc., especially).

Women, literally every woman, must be drawn into thiswork.

(6) So as not to get into a mess with the involvement of masses of participants they must be drawn into the work gradually, in turn, etc. The ways in which they participate must also be carefully planned (two or three at a time, rarely, in special cases, more, so that they will not waste the working time of the clerks).

(7) Detailed instructions must be compiled.

(8) Officials of the State Control Commission must (in accordance with a special instruction), first, invite representatives of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspection to all their operations, and secondly, deliver lectures to non-party conferences of workers and peasants (popular lectures according to a specially approved programme on the principles of the State Control Commission and its methods; perhaps the lectures could be replaced by the reading of a pamphlet that we shall publish—that is, the State Control Commission, Stalin and Avanesov, will publish it with the special participation of the Party—and commenting on that pamphlet).

(9 Gradually summon peasants from the localities (they must be non-party peasants) to participate in the State Control Commission at the centre; begin with at least (if it is impossible to do more) one or two from each gubernia and then, depending on transport and other conditions, increase the number. The same thing for non-party workers.

(10) Gradually introduce the verification of the participation of working people in the State Control Commission by the Party and the trade unions, i.e., through these organisations verify whether everyone participates and what results come from the participation insofar as learning the business of state administration is concerned.


January 24, 1920


[1] This refers to the directive adopted on Lenin’s proposal by the Political Bureau of the CC, R.C.P.(B.) on January 23, 1920 on the organisation of a workers’ and peasants’ inspection. On February 7, 1920 the All-Russia Central Executive Committee endorsed the Rules for the Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspection according to which the state control bodies were reorganised “into a single body of socialist control by workers and peasants”.

Lenin attached great importance to workers’ and peasants’ inspection. In the articles written in 1923, “How We Should Reorganise the Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspection” and “Better Fewer, but Better”, Lenin proposed to unite the workers’ and peasants’ inspection bodies with the Central Control Commission. In April 1923, the Twelfth Party Congress adopted a decision that followed Lenin’s proposal to found a joint body with Party and state control functions.

At the time of the Stalin cult Lenin’s principles of the organisation of Party and state control were grossly violated and a bureaucratic control apparatus was substituted for the Leninist system of control.

In November 1962 a plenary meeting of the C.C., C.P.S.U. considered it necessary to reorganise the system of supervision on Leninist principles. It decided to set up a Committee of Party and State Control of the C.C., C.P.S,U. and the Council of Ministers of the USSR to unite and direct theentire work of supervision in the country.