V. I.   Lenin



Published: First published in 1933 in Lenin Miscellany XX III. Printed from a typewritten copy.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, pages 263b-265a.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
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.
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Very urgent

Comrade Smilga:

I think that one of the gross mistakes in the Donbas, i.e., in all the effort to rehabilitate the Donbas, is that there is no proper co-ordination of local work—industrial, agricultural and commercial.

There seems to have been some friction, on the one hand, between Pyatakov and Rukhimovich, and on the other, between Pyatakov and the local trade unions.

I consider it extremely important for you not to confine yourself to purely industrial matters, relating only to the coal-mining industry, but to devote attention to the need to eliminate the above-mentioned friction.

It is necessary, at all costs, to get the gubernia economic conference of Donets Gubernia working intensively and harmoniously.

Special measures should be taken to have Pyatakov and all his apparatus direct their efforts to raise local agriculture and carry on trade with the peasants, and with foreign countries via Taganrog. In particular, attention should be given to measures to boost local agriculture by introducing irrigation through the use of the Donets River sluice-gates. This plan, which promises to be highly practicable, has been put forward at Gosplan.

In general, it is quite wrong for the coal-mining industry administration to regard itself as being unconnected with agriculture in Donets Gubernia.

I am sure that if the forces of the labour army, which are available in Donets Gubernia, as well as the forces of local miners and the coal-mining industry administration, were to be thrown into the joint endeavour with the workers of Donets Gubernia, it would be possible to secure not only the earliest collection of the tax in kind, but also to acquire undoubtedly large quantities of foodstuffs through a correctly organised commodity exchange, both an exchange of goods for salt, and of grain for coal.

I’ll be expecting you to send me, first, a telegram containing a short notification that you have received this letter and that you will do your utmost in this direction, and, second, a detailed communication on the constitution and work of the gubernia economic conference of Donets Gubernia after your arrival.

Concerning the coal-cutting machines about which Pyatakov wrote, I have a precise and detailed report from specialists saying that even the coal-cutting machines already available in the Donbas cannot be put to use for a number of reasons, and that it is quite impractical to buy new   coal-cutting machines, because these machines will be doomed to lie idle.

Please make a circumstantial study of this question with the help of real specialists who have a thoroughly good knowledge of the business.

V. Ulyanov (Lenin)
Chairman, Council of People’s Commissars

Send this letter to the Gubernia Executive Committee at Bakhmut, for C.L.D. representative Smilga who is due to be at Bakhmut from August 27 to September 5, 1921. Send it through the War Department with an especially fast courier and obtain a personal signature for it. If Smilga is not yet at Bakhmut, deliver it through the Gubernia Executive Committee.

Phone Stalin to find out whether he will be sending a letter to Rukhimovich. Let Stalin read a copy of this letter, and if there is a letter to Rukhimovich from him, send it along with this one not later than tomorrow.


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