Written: 15 July, 1921
First Published: Pravda No. 150, July 19, 1921; Published according to the Pravda text
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, 1st English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1965, Volume 32, pages 499-500
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\HTML Markup: David Walters & R. 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
I send my greetings to the assembly of Tsentrosoyuz delegates on behalf of the Council of People's Commissars and of the Central Committee of the R.C.P. I deeply regret that I cannot be present to express my views on the most complicated problems confronting the co-operative societies.
I have no doubt that time pooling of experience of the work already done will help you to solve these problems in harmony with the plan for the country's overall economic development. Success in the practical work that now lies ahead will depend largely on the establishment, through the medium of commodity exchange, of proper relations between urban industry and agriculture. It will depend on the ability of the co-operative societies, by steady and persistent effort, to clear the way for the development of commodity exchange and to take the lead in this field. It will depend on their ability to collect the scattered stocks of commodities and to secure the production of new ones. In the long run, the practical solution of these problems is the best way to achieve our aims, namely, to restore agriculture and, on that basis, to strengthen and develop large-scale industry.
These problems have been complicated very much by the crop failure, which has become apparent in a number of gubernias. In your work, you will have to devote special attention to this fresh disaster and keep its consequences in mind when tackling all current questions.
I am sure that, short as the experience of work under the new conditions may be, Soviet co-operative societies will succeed in closely linking up their work with the general task of overcoming the chaos in the country's economy, and will display the utmost energy in this fight.
 The Congress, or the Third All-Russia Assembly of Tsentrosoyuz Delegates, was held in Moscow from July 16 to 23, 1921, and was attended by 384 delegates (250 with voice and vote, and 134 with voice only) from many parts of Russia. It discussed reports and adopted decisions on the activity of Tsentrosoyuz; prospects of the consumers’ cooperative societies; trade and commodity exchange of Tsentrosoyuz; workers’ co-operative societies; the state of and prospects for foreign trade and the role of co-operatives; co-operative societies’ assistance to areas hit by the crop failure, and other questions. Lenin was elected Honorary Chairman, and his message of greetings was read at the first plenary sitting on July 16.