V. I.   Lenin


To:   M. P. TOMSKY[1]

Written: Written on August 7, 1921
Published: First published in 1959 in Lenin Miscellany XXXVI. Sent to Tashkent. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, pages 246b-247a.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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Comrade Tomsky:

Thank you very much for the letter which is very clear.

Of course, you are right that we in Moscow must have “9 million sheep”.[2] They must be obtained at all costs! Send us at the C.L.D. a calendar programme of their receipt at once.

The same about grain.

We are sending Comrade Joffe in an attempt to settle your differences with Comrade Safarov.

I believe the two tendencies can and must be combined:

1) the first priority is grain and meat for Moscow;

2) (for this) a number of concessions and bonuses to the “merchants”;

3) no question about the new economic policy (10th Congress, Conference of May 1921, etc.);

4) Moslem poor peasants’ committees indispensable, and

5) the Moslem poor should be treated with care and prudence, with a number of concessions.

It is possible and necessary to combine and consolidate the line of wisdom and prudence, maintaining the interests of our “world policy” throughout the East.

With communist greetings,

P.S. The C.C. will probably agree to your request concerning the half-year. We shall have a talk with Rudzutak.


[1] This was written in connection with a letter from M. P. Tomsky, Chairman of the Commission of the All-Russia C.E.C. and the C.P.C. of the R.S.F.S.R. for Turkestan affairs, of July 23, 1921, setting out his differences with G. I. Safarov, member of the Turkestan Bureau of the R.C.P.(B.) Central Committee, on implementing the New Economic Policy in Turkestan. Tomsky insisted on introducing the tax in kind and believed it was impossible to combine the New Economic Policy with the establishment in Turkestan of Committees of Poor Peasants and their sharing out of the property, cattle and stock requisitioned from the kulaks. Safarov, for his part, insisted that the tax in kind and free exchange were not quite applicable to Turkestan conditions, and laid emphasis on organising unions of the poor and the class stratification of the local population.

For details on this question see also this volume, Document 383; Collected Works, Fifth (Russian) Edition, Vol. 53, Documents 175 and 259.

[2] A reference to the purchase of sheep from cattle-breeding traders in Turkestan and China to supply meat to the population of Moscow. It later turned out, however, that the deal was disadvantageous. In a telegram sent to M. P. Tomsky on September 19, 1921, which was signed by Lenin, he was ordered to stop further purchases of cattle (see Lenin Miscellany XXIII, p. 136).

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